Young Professionals Spotlight: Elissa Barrick

2 Apr 2014


Young Professionals, round 5. Do fights (or anything) go into the fifth round? My lack of boxing knowledge is just plain embarrassing. Thankfully, this series isn’t a battle, but to continue with the pun…Entering the ring this week is Elissa Barrick of Shine Brothers.

(Sidebar: if you’re a young professional in the area and would like to meet others in that same age group, check out this article! We’re having a small, informal gathering this Friday, April 4th at 5:30 at the Bear in Spencer. We’d love to have you!) :)professionalElissa, a 25 year old Human Resources professional, has lived in Spencer since she graduated from Buena Vista University in 2010. With a degree in Human Resource Management and a minor in Spanish, Elissa had the option of going just about anywhere to pursue her interests. So, why did she choose to come to Spencer? Continue reading to find out.

“I was expecting to have to move to a bigger city in order to find a job that suited my needs and had never considered Spencer. I got a call from Eva Shine, my boss here at Shine Bros., who had found my resume online. She asked me to come in for an interview and the rest is history. This position has really allowed me opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else; I have grown here. The responsibilities I have now would have taken me years to achieve had I been in a larger area.”shinesA Pocahontas native, Elissa grew up being used to a rural area, having to drive 45 minutes just to get a tube of mascara. The access to amenities in the town of Spencer has been something she has truly enjoyed about living here.

“I came from a small town, always having to plan out every trip to go anywhere. We have a Walmart and a mall – things I never had close growing up. People take that kind of stuff for granted. I also love to travel; if I needed an airport when I was younger, I knew it would be a 3 hour drive to Des Monies. Now, I’m 2-3 hours from Des Moines, Omaha and Minnesota; that saves me tons of money on airline tickets.”vacationElissa spoke about the pressure to move to a bigger city in order to be closer to her friends. I’m sure she isn’t the only one in our area feeling that exact same way.

“Of course the pressure is out there..they all made the move right out of college. What they’re not getting in Des Monies and Omaha is exactly what I’m fortunate enough to get here. I have this job that allows me to grow, take risks and run with my skills without having to be ‘promoted’ every few years,” she explained. “Plus, many of them are surrounded by the same individuals they’ve known their whole lives. I am part of this community and feel that membership. I am absolutely more than a number here.”

Guess who ran for City Counsel this year? Elissa did.

“I didn’t win, but I wouldn’t have had that same opportunity in a Des Moines type of area. I have very strong hopes of bringing a younger presence to Spencer. There are so many opportunities for young professionals around here; it’s a great place to live and it’s important for people to know that.”ypThose opportunities that Elissa talks about..what are they?

Internships are crucial these days in landing that first job. Professional types of experience are essential for employers looking to hire someone straight out of college.

“Career-wise, the internships around town don’t even compare to ones in bigger towns; they’re so much better. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t interned at Hillshire while at BV. They helped mold me, and I’m convinced I wouldn’t have found a job right out of college without their mentorship and guidance.”

Okay, enough of all this career talk. Let’s discuss what Elissa likes to do for fun.

“Well, I just got married in August..which is a funny story, actually. Chase (her husband) went to BV and we had a class together. We were ‘Facebook friends’ but didn’t really know each other, if that makes sense. He got a job and moved to Spencer after graduation, which is when we started hanging out. Who knew that 3 years later we’d go from not even talking to being married!”weddingThe couple enjoys walking and bike riding on the trails around town. Elissa expressed her love for the community here.

“This is a beautiful place to live and the people here are incredible. What a place to raise a family and launch a career. There’s no way we’re leaving this area; there are definitely good things to be had.”

I hope you all are having a wonderful Spring(ish) week! I’m sure we’re all anxious to have that warm weather on a daily basis.

See ya next week! :)

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- Alexa Guessford