Meet Nate Hueber 

Nathan Hueber

Nathan Hueber

I attended Ball State from 2010 – 2015 where I graduated with my B.S. in Sociology. Even though I was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN, I now call Omaha, NE my home where I have a wife and a son on the way. In my spare time I enjoy golfing, boxing, and writing short fiction stories. One day I even hope to publish a novel.

Tell us about your current job.

I’m the Career Services Coordinator for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Engineering, specifically for the Durham School of Architectural Engineering & Construction.  This means I work with students majoring in various types of engineering and construction programs as they explore, develop, and secure their own careers. I help my students by meeting with them in 1 on 1 appointments for practice interviews, editing resumes and cover letters, finding internships and full-time jobs, as well as any other type of career developmental areas.

While a good portion of my job has me meeting with students individually, I am also responsible for making sure all of those same opportunities and information are available to the other 700 students in my college that might not have time to meet with me, so that means I’m giving presentations across campus and creating a lot of digital content for them as well. And if I’m not meeting with students, I am also tasked with planning and hosting an annual career fair with 100 industry specific employers, coordinating student/employer mixers, and teaching a required course on professionalism to my sophomore students.

Will you describe your career path?

Originally, I went to BSU to become a secondary education teacher in social sciences, but quickly found I didn’t have the patience for lesson plans and parent/teacher conferences!  Instead, I discovered that Sociology’s theories on societal interactions clicked with me, and I wanted to somehow use those theories and skills in practice. After my CAPSTONE project, which was extremely insightful, I thought that a career in market research might be a good fit for me.

With nothing tying me down to Indiana permanently, I took a job in Omaha as a project manager for a company that specialized in healthcare market research and patient satisfaction where it took me less than 6 months to figure out that market research wasn’t for me either!  I did learn though that I enjoyed helping others identify their goals and then creating a plan to help them reach said goals, which was only about 20% of the project manager’s job. So, I spoke with a career advisor from Ball State, and she helped me figure out that I might be a good fit as a career advisor myself.

From there I decided to pivot my career, which meant I was required to earn my master’s degree in Counseling with a focus on Student Affairs in Higher Education, while working multiple internships at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. During this time, I was promoted to an Academic Advisor for Exploring Students, and after two years of advising, I earned my current position as a Career Services Coordinator.

How have you grown in your successive jobs that have led to your current position?

I would say the two biggest areas of growth for me that led to my current position have been time management and listening. They’re critical skills that you need to have if you want to work in career services or higher education in general.

When I made the transition from full-time project manager to graduate student I unfortunately had to take up multiple part-time jobs and internships while also attending classes. This was a whole new level of time management that required me to have various responsibilities, plan out meetings and deadlines, make time for homework, readings, and so much more. All of which required different levels of prioritization that I hadn’t been used to as an undergrad or even a full-time employee.

The other area of growth for me really was listening, and to me, that’s completely different from communicating. When we really listen to others, we aren’t waiting for our turn to say something. Listening is what gave me the ability to learn what really made clients upset or what they wanted to improve on. Working with college athletes and students who were on academic probation during my internships gave me the opportunity to really listen, learn, and understand where their challenges came from and what resources I could use to help them.

What is the most fulfilling part of your current job?

I love getting to work with college students and help them earn fulfilling employment.  Higher education does an amazing job of teaching us and preparing us for the workforce, but we as students don’t always know the best ways to present these experiences and knowledge.  That’s where I can step in to help bridge the gap between college and career, which in turn helps our students see how valuable and meaningful their degrees are.  Also, I get to help students explore their interests and possible careers, so it doesn’t get much better then when a student finds job or career that clearly clicks with their purpose and values.

What are the most valuable skills you learned as a Ball State student in the College of Sciences and Humanities?

I would say some of the most valuable skills I took away from my time at Ball state are the some of the same skills that employers are looking for in today’s job market: problem solving/critical thinking, communication (verbal and written), and being able to balance working on a team even while having my own workload.

In every company and position I’ve worked in I’ve needed to understand how fixing one part of a project might affect another part of the process or product (problem solving/critical thinking). Communication has been vital for working with clients, team members, or simply documenting what/how something was done to make sure the process could be repeated, or data could be clearly understood (verbal and written communication). Finally, I don’t remember a single job where I haven’t worked with a team while still being responsible for my own workload (teamwork, time management, and work ethic).

 Is there a particular class, professor, or professional opportunity that had a significant impact on you?

I would say my time with Professor Messineo and my CAPSTONE course had the most impact for me. During that course I got to work in a small group with my peers, work on a real-world project, and see how I might use the skills and theories I’d learned in classes like analyzing data, finding cultural patterns along with their consequences, and researching best practices for future recommendations.

I loved my classes at Ball State, but that was the first time I could really see myself using the practical applications of Sociology in a setting outside of class.

What advice do you have for current or future students in your major or who might hope to follow in your career path?

Utilize your time in college to really explore your different career options by getting different internships or career focused part-time jobs, especially over the summer. Use those experiences to test what you like or dislike, what industries you might want to be a part of, which type of company do you think you’d like to work for, or even what affect you might want to have on the world.

I’ve enjoyed my career path so far, but I would have saved myself a lot of time, effort, and frustration if I’d known more about what market research was through an internship, or if I’d been able to capitalize on my strengths I’d learned about during summer jobs.

Also, just go visit your Career Center! It’s one of the least used resources on most college campuses, and BSU has great career advisors who can help you on your career path. It’s never too early or too late to start working towards a career that helps you feel fulfilled.

The Cardinal Directions Series highlights recent alumni taking flight and making a difference. Read the full series here.