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*Scott Barks and Kumiko Barks met at a 'Meet the Freshman' event, attended the same church and both found a home within the sociology department. They got married in July 2015 and have been happily married two years now.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

I work with families to provide the best level of care for their loved ones within our Assisted Living Community. In addition, I oversee the care specialists that assist our residents in their care and Activities of Daily Living (ADL's).

How did your experience at CMU prepare you for your career?

Kumiko & Scott: Being a sociology major, many people often asked us first off what it was, why that major and how could we ever have a successful career with this type of degree. Our response would be that sociology is probably the best critical thinking degree that anyone could ever gain. Within both the sociology and social work program, we gained not only the opportunity to think outside the box but to see and understand people within their cultural context and social norms. Overall, CMU prepared us to challenge the status quo, wear different hats and love our community even more.

What was your transition like from being a student to your current career position?

From the beginning of my time at CMU, I always had a heart to work with older adults, but then when I graduated it’s all a matter of what’s available at the moment. I began applying for various non-profit positions and eventually was blessed with the opportunity to be a life skills coach and direct service provider here in the Grand Valley working with both kids in foster care and individuals with developmental disabilities. After about a year, I ran into another friend of mine who was also a sociology major and she informed me of the open care manager position at The Commons.  

What do you think set you apart from the other applicants for your current position?

Courtesy
Courtesy

 

All throughout high school and even throughout college, I did both volunteer work and had a part-time job at an assisted living back on the Front Range. This, along with my course work at CMU, is what I truly believe set me apart from other applicants. I had some basic experience, a background in geriatric studies and compassion to serve others. 

What advice would you give to incoming college students?

Attend class, visit your professors frequently for assistance/advice and enjoy all the opportunities college has to offer! Take the opportunity to explore different clubs on campus, volunteer around the community and make connections with both your professors and peers. You never know, one of those connections could lead you to your next career path. 

Published 5/16/2018