Hello and thank you for visiting my page. My name is Kara and this is my story...
It's been quite a journey for me, and I've learned a lot. I've had many struggles in my life that could have easily stopped me from moving forward, but I knew better than that. I knew I had to keep going. I was raised with the awareness that nothing worth anything comes easy. So I put in the time necessary, and I have always pulled through the challenges life throws at me. I am grateful for it because I would not be the woman I am today.
I am strong. I am confident. I am persistent.
Have you ever wanted something so bad that you do everything in your heart to obtain it? I know I have, many times over again. Someone once told me that you can't always get what you want. I don't believe that. I believe that you can get what you want, if you want it bad enough. I have also learned, that sometimes we think we know what we want, but when we get closer to obtaining that 'thing', that 'person', that 'job'...we realize the path has led us elsewhere. We may no longer want it. We may realize that we need or want something else, but that is what makes life so beautiful. These goals that we set for ourselves can lead us to multiple paths, multiple lives. That is just what has happened with me, and I know it will continue to happen as I grow and evolve throughout my lifetime...
I started out as a young naive woman in college, unsure of what I wanted, but I knew I wanted to create a unique life for myself. So I embarked on a journey in theatre. The first 3 years of college felt like I was just going through the ropes, not sure if I even belonged in theatre. I remember having a conversation with one of my college friends one evening during a production, and he asked me, "why are you even here, if you don't know where you fit in theatre?" I'll never forget that moment. It really made me think. He was right. What was I doing there? It's funny how the universe works, because that same year, I discovered where I fit. I took a stage management class and knew that was my next step I needed to take. So I learned everything I could about being the best stage manager. I bought books to read about it, looked it up online and ended up becoming an expert on the subject. Then an opportunity arose where I was able to put my knowledge to work. I worked for a community theatre for years after that. I loved it, but alas, after doing that for several years I grew tired of it. I wanted something new and exciting. I wanted to grow and further my career, but life through a curveball at me, one of the first awakenings of reality set in...
The Economy crashed
I graduated in the worst year possible, 2008. Companies went on hiring freezes. No one wanted to hire some girl right out of college with little to no experience. It was tough. I didn't know what to do. I felt useless, confused, upset that my college degree meant nothing to anyone. What was a young woman to do? I knew I had to get creative and think outside the box. So I decided to leave the country. If I couldn't get a job in my own country, surely I could grow and evolve somewhere else. I did research after research on the opportunities for newly graduates to work overseas. I eventually found a program that sounded right for me. I decided to work in England. So I filled out an endless amount of paperwork and applied for a work visa. It was an exciting day when I got the news that I was accepted. I'll never forget the moment when I told my family I was moving away to England. I think they were all shocked, scared for me, but it was an experience that made me stronger, independent, and gave me the confidence that I can do anything with the right attitude. Don't get me wrong, it was hard. There were times when I was living over there that I thought, "I'm not going to make it here," but I did, and I eventually found a great job (with a little help, of course), and I lived out my days in beautiful London until my visa expired. I was able to travel, work, and meet people from all over. An experience of a lifetime.
But then it was time to come home...
I came back to America feeling better about myself, able to work full time overseas for a great company (see resume). Making professional contacts in London, it will always be a part of me.
So the new search began, looking for a job in my hometown,
but this time the economy seemed to be a bit better.
I was able to pick myself up pretty quickly this time. There are always the travel blues after being away for so long. The feeling of being misunderstood by family and friends, not knowing where you fit, but I was stronger this time around, knowing that I could move miles away and continually grow.
So I got a job working in real estate, working side by side with an investment agent, where we bought and sold homes from auctions. It was a dirty business, but I really enjoyed it. Something I took away from that job that he said to me, "You need to be more of a forward thinker." That really stuck with me. I guess I never thought I wasn't a forward thinker. Apparently I wasn't to him, but I think that comes with time, right? In order to forward think, you have to know what may or may not happen down the road, and if you don't have a lot of life experience, I think that's a pretty impossible feat to grasp. Either way, I was determined to prove him wrong, whether I was still working for him or not. I knew I had to learn how to become a forward thinker.
And then the real estate market drastically changed
Many people lost their homes prior to this because of the market crashing, but that made for a dirty business (as I said previously), and my boss at the time profited from those foreclosures. When Obama created the Obama's Foreclosure Relief Program it helped millions of people save their homes, so going to the auctions just wasn't the same, and the market just wasn't there anymore. My boss decided to go a different route in his business, and I knew it was time for me to move on.
That's when I went to work in commercial construction
So we already know that I liked the 'dirty business' aspect of flipping houses, but since that died down and their wasn't much going on with that market at the time, I had to move on, and thought I would enjoy working in construction. I helped manage projects, setting up work and making sure the journeyman in the company all had a job to go to the next morning. Those guys worked hard. I can't imagine doing a labor job for as long as some of those guys were doing it. It was a great experience, shorter than I probably would have liked, but I learned a lot. The problem was, I saw the writing on the wall with that company. They weren't doing so hot. It was always scary looking at their bank account and wondering, "how are we going to make payroll this week?" The problem when you work in a small company and you are a subcontractor to big contracts, you are the last man to get paid. That means you need to have enough cash flow to float money around so everyone can get paid, and work can continue. Their just wasn't enough of a cash flow to keep everyone going all the time. I knew I had to get out of there. Side note: My boss there was one of the best guys I've ever worked for.
My next career move was the biggest shocker of my life
Now if you were to tell me back when I was in college that I'd be doing the job I am now, I would have laughed at you. This is the juicy stuff I was talking about earlier, how the universe is crazy and wild. It really does have a mind of its own. Sometimes our paths take us on these wild goose chases and we end up somewhere we would have never imagined.
That's where you'll find me today.
Project Coordinator / Technical Editor
for an Environmental Engineering Consultant Firm
A little background on the company I am currently working for...
"E2 is an environmental management and engineering consultancy. We believe that acting as champions for our clients' results in greater rewards and success. We are committed to doing what's right - partnering with clients and consistently delivering top-tier service and solutions. Through our critical thinking and technical expertise, we help our clients stay ahead of compliance and manage risk."
Yea, I know...what does that even mean, right?
Well, we do anything from...
- Site Assessments,
- Phase I (Preliminary Assessments)
- Phase II (Site Investigations),
- Preliminary Environmental Assessments (PEAs)
- Financial Risk Analysis
- Storm Water
- Brownfield Services / Redevelopment
- Air Quality Assessment
- Hazardous Waste Handling & Disposing
- Underground Storage Tank Removal
- Groundwater Monitoring,
- Vapor Intrusion,
- Regulatory Compliance,
- Program Management, etc.
Basically, if our client has a need for it, we will find a way to get the job done and manage our clients risk.
So where do I come into play here? I know what you are thinking, well she has an extensive background, but how does she work in Engineering without any background in it? Well, I have had to learn everything from scratch. I am a big part of the operations here and I help the project managers with budget management, project controls, technical editing of reports and documents, technical writing, proposal production, quality assurance, contracts management, process improvement, and the overall organization of the company.
(see resume for further details)
I know, I've written a lot here, and if you've made it this far, I congratulate you. Eh, what can I say, I love to write and I wanted to share my story with you. I think it's important for others to know that you don't have to stick to one road, that in life there are many roads and many paths and you can take them all. All that matters is that we are constantly growing and evolving over time.
I am happy where I am. Actually, I'm the happiest I've ever been as an adult. I feel like I've got my feet on the ground, I'm mid career, and I know that with the right attitude I can do anything, and achieve great things.