December 1, 2011
By Corina Leu '12
Solveig Hoversten-Mellem '12, a Biology major at Mount Holyoke, learned about the coveted Health Education Office Assistant position at the Student Health Services in her first year. Although the position was filled at the time, in Spring of her freshman year, she approached Karen Jacobus, Coordinator of Health Education for the Mount Holyoke College, and asked Karen to keep her in mind for any future openings. Solveig explains that she decided to reach out because she knew from experience that it is difficult to go through hundreds of job applications. “It’s a lot of paperwork, and if the employer has a name in mind it helps to speed up the process.” Solveig also adds that putting yourself out there before the job opening is announced, “shows that you are passionate about the position.”
Her initiative and determination paid off fairly quickly, as Solveig was asked to join the staff at the Health Services in the early Fall of her Junior year. As the Health Education Office Assistant, Solveig shares many responsibilities: typing staff meetings notes, helping to organize and launch different campus-wide campaigns, designing posters and flyers. Solveig says “I like working behind the scenes and having a direct hand in what students see on campus.” Despite the demanding work, she returns semester after semester because of her exposure to what it takes to organize a campus program. “Knowing the number of steps that go into setting up and launching a program on campus is so important. This is a great skill I will take with me,” says Solveig.
As a Dance minor, Solveig always had an interest in nutrition and fitness. Whereas before, she could see herself becoming a registered dietician, now she has gained an interest in performing more administrative functions in the field of Public Health. “This position fits my evolving interests; it has given me the freedom to explore my options,” Solveig says.
Her advice to younger students is “if you know there is a department or an area you are interested in, go talk to someone working there. Even if there is no position available at that moment, get your name out there, familiarize yourself with them.”