Thank you to those who read the first post in the Young Professionals Spotlight. This series is going to be fun (especially for me)! Getting to speak with a bunch of people similar to my age is a great way to connect and form new friends. Pretty soon you’ll be seeing young professionals everywhere! Next up on the docket is Tara Lehner.
Tara, a 23 year old Le Mars native, is the graphic designer for Lakes Print in Spirit Lake. She thrives on all the opportunities that exists in the Corridor area. I spoke with Tara last week to get a better feel for her experience thus far upon graduation.
“I applied for many jobs around here; I wanted to stay fairly close to home,” Tara explained. “I was able to travel all over for basketball during college, but there wasn’t anything quite like coming home.”
Tara attended Buena Vista University and graduated in May 2013. She began her journey as a Math Education major, but quickly changed her mind.
“I was always really artsy growing up. I realized that I had to step away from what everyone else wanted and pursue what I wanted to do. Graphic Design became my major shortly thereafter.”
During our conversation, Tara and I were able to relate, largely in part because we graduated together. Job searching while still in college was one of the things that came up. She explained to me why Lakes Print was the right choice for her.
“Lakes Print let me do the most of what I wanted when I envisioned my ideal career. They have also pushed me out of my comfort zone, which is important to my success.”
BV’s professors are known for encouraging and aiding their students in finding careers.
“One of my teachers sent me an email about this job and suggested I apply. I was lucky enough to have an interview right away and got offered the job 3 days later. It was an extremely quick turn around…and it hasn’t stopped since,” she giggled.
So, what exactly does Tara do on a day-to-day basis, you ask? Keep reading.
“I do all the design for the company; I’m actually the only designer. Envelopes, business cards, newspaper ads..you name it. I make sure everything gets from my computer to the client for their approval. Once that’s done, I will print it.”
Designing flyers vs. teaching youngsters 2+2…quite the artistic difference. Other than spending her days in the company shop, what else does she do for fun?
“I actually go to BV a lot; it seems to be the central meeting point for all of us that have graduated. I also really enjoyed the Winter Games this year. I think the summer will be so much fun; I can’t wait to try out the Boji Pavilion and the drive-in movie theater.”
Tara also explained about all the opportunities to meet other individuals in the area. There are sand volleyball and indoor volleyball leagues, along with indoor basketball leagues at the Y. These are all great avenues for networking with similar-aged individuals.
It was very clear to me that Tara enjoys the area and the opportunities available here.
“I’m not a big town person; that’s not even on my radar. I am able to do exactly what I love in a smaller town. I don’t have to live in Des Moines or a bigger city to get what I want out of life. I love it here and definitely don’t plan on leaving.”
Well, folks, that about does it for this week’s YP Spotlight. Tara’s designs are really cool (she let me see a sneak peak of a few). If you or your business needs some creative assistance or has printing needs, check out Lakes Print’s website here.
Until next week..
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- Alexa Guessford