Cassidy JacobitzElementary Education
What was your name at graduation?
What year did you graduate?
What was your favorite part about your time at UNL?
When I was in school, all of my friends were very close to me. I have a lot of very fond memories of working on our respective homework, and taking breaks at the Selleck dining room. When we were tired of dining hall food, we would take breaks and go downtown and eat where we wanted. I made friendships that have lasted long past graduation. My friends are still there for each other, and we cheer each other on as we progress into our professional careers. Our homes are plastered with pictures of our college days. As we get married, our significant others join the crowd and become one of us. UNL was the perfect climate for us to become extremely close.
What career did you pursue after you graduated?
I initially tried to become a classroom teacher. The market was struggling at the time, and no one was interested in hiring teachers out of school in my town. I eventually found a job as a high ability teacher, and realized that the parts of the job I loved involved introducing students to their passions. I decided to look into informal education, as well as the jobs I had always dreamed of doing, and ended up at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. I started as a Zoo Instructor, and was hired full time to run the after school program. In the years since, I have very proudly mentored college students, and all of my student teachers gained employment in a school immediately.
What kind of impact did UNL have on your career? OR How did you use the start UNL gave you?
UNL taught me that you can use your degree to become so much more than ordinary. Many of my friends and classmates use their degrees in ways beyond the conventional method. We joke about being "failed teachers," or "failed engineers," when in truth we are in jobs that are highly satisfying, and there is no failure involved. We were introduced to so many different ways to use a teaching degree, for example, that it is clear that we didn't have to be in the classroom to impact the lives of young people. One of my friends used his civil engineering degree to build roads and bridges for poor communities in Madagascar and Kenya. UNL prioritized the human aspect of that piece of paper we were earning, and I am so proud of everything that we have done.
What is one piece of advice you would like to give to current and upcoming students?
There is a myth that you can only have two: enough sleep, enough social interaction, or good grades. Find a balance, accept that you need breaks, do homework with people you like, get a planner, and avoid morning classes if you can. You can have all three, I promise!