Job Title: President Of A Small Business
Type of Company: We provide clients with research and evaluation services of their products, programs, and services. We measure how effective their products, programs, and services are in attaining their intended goals and provide feedback for improvement.
Education: BA, Psychology, University of Texas (Austin) MA, Social Foundations of Education, University of Virginia Ph.D., Educational Evaluation, University of Virginia
Previous Experience: I was a research assistant for a college professor at UT-Austin. I worked for an education research organization before starting my own business in the same field.
Job Tasks: In general, I conduct evaluations of a variety of projects, help my employees with their projects, and work to make sure everything is in order for the business. When I conduct evaluations for projects, I talk with clients about what information is important to them and what they want to know from an evaluation. I then design an evaluation and develop instruments to collect data for target audiences. I analyze the data and report on it. Because I run the company, I also oversee the evaluation work of my employees, which means I provide feedback on their evaluation plans, data collection, analysis and reporting. I also have to stay on top of the budget to make sure everyone gets paid.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I love my job because it offers something different every day. It isn't the same thing over and over. But because of that, I have to multi-task well and prioritize my efforts, and that can be challenging. Because I own and run the business I reap the benefits when we are successful, but I also take a financial risk if we fail and the pressure to do well can be tremendously stressful.
Job Tips: My advice to anyone pursuing the same job or career would be to take courses in statistics and program evaluation. I think it's also important to develop your organization and time management skills as well as your communication and people skills. Communication skills are key to developing positive relationships with your co-workers as well as with your clients.
Additional Thoughts: I think relationships are very important for any job you have. If you have positive relationships with the people with whom you work, you will feel happier about your job. If you want to take a risk by going out on your own or switching careers, do it while you are young. It is harder to make changes like that once you have financial commitments like a house, family, and car, for example. But overall, know your heart and have the courage to follow it. Getting a Ph.D. is more about perseverance than anything!
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