M Nelsen

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Program and data analyst

mnelsen@youthjobcenter.org
(847) 864-5627 ext. 19

What do you like about your job?

I love getting to know our young people while helping them realize and work towards their goals, and in turn learning from their varied experiences.

Where did you work before YJC?

Before YJC I was a Graduate Researcher & Instructor at Northwestern's Psychology Department. Although I enjoyed researching & teaching about systematic structures underlying oppression & privilege, I wanted to apply that knowledge to actually confronting and hopefully disrupting these systems. So I came over to YJC.

What was your first job?

I worked as a Nanny/Babysitter since I was young, but my first pay-rolled job was at a frozen custard shop.

What did you learn from your first job?

From that experience, and subsequent jobs, I know a lot about how management practices can make or a break a job experience and how it can even affect future opportunities.

Has your career path gone how you expected?

My career path has not gone as I expected. I can personally vouch for how unexpected life events can drastically change plans & even your dreams. I strongly believe that the expectation that you should know your path when leaving high school is unreasonable & impractical. I see my self and my career path as an eternal work in progress, and I've learned to build flexibility into my plans to account for that.

Fun fact:

Two days after I graduated high school I moved to Trinidad and Tobago to be an Au Pair (live in nanny). I was too naive to really appreciate the experience at the time, but I now consider it to be foundational to who I am and who I aspire to be.