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Inside Education and Health Sciences

The Right Path Will Always Find You

By Grace Burkholder ’26

Jack of all trades, master of none.

How many jobs do you think an average person has in their lifetime? Surprisingly, the average person will have 13-18 jobs spanning multiple career fields. Hopefully each one will teach you something, even if it doesn't build directly upon your previous job or ideal career path.

Corey Kaeser, a University of Dayton '99 graduate, came to speak with Dr. Peter Titlebaum's Sport and Wellness Seminar about the future after graduation and how it's okay if not every senior has the rest of their life planned out. 

Kaeser is a successful businessman who has had many roles in two companies, Enpro Group and FCSEM. He also is a creator of the Hockey Shield. During his talk, he motivated many seniors to look forward to their careers after college and reassured us that things will fall into place.

Kaeser started like most students with aspirations for his future. His first big challenge was changing majors from engineering to sports management. He thought his life was all planned out, until it was not. After the switch, he knew that sports were for him. To borrow a phrase from Dr. Titlebaum, Kaeser's career opportunities taught him 'how to play the game.' 

When Kaeser was in college, he wanted to work in the ski industry. The Chevy US Alpine National Championships were happening in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, during his junior year. Kaeser called one of the event coordinators to ask for a job but was told there was no need for an extra person. After the call, Dr. Titlebaum told Kaeser to go to Jackson Hole anyway, to be there in case they needed him. Kaeser was reluctant, but decided to fly across the country with no secure job. Once he arrived, he got the opportunity to run the race results, which was not an exciting job, but he did it because he wanted to be in the ski industry so badly. After the first day, he was called in to see a manager and was told that he could shadow him and sit in for all the big meetings with Chevy. He was very thankful he had taken the chance to go to Wyoming. It is important to just go for it; you never know what might happen.

A little later in life, he shifted his career to marketing and got great opportunities, but he learned not to get cocky and altered his view of things to get a new perspective. Even later in his life, he had the opportunity to head the Enpro company's headquarters and then move to run the company internationally. With all his hard work and determination, he learned that not sticking to the script and showing what you believe will get you where you want to go.

Throughout collegiate and professional career, he noted that he had between 13-17 jobs in three different career paths. With all those obstacles and challenges, he learned to redefine himself every two years to see that he was still earning his full potential. All the opportunities that came to Kaeser may not have been the most expected path. 

Still, the unconventional structure brought him many experiences he would have never gotten if he had never gone for it. Kaeser accomplished what he believed in, giving him the most tremendous success. 

Returning to the quote, "Jack of all trades, master of none," does that have a different meaning now? Maybe if I added "but oftentimes better than master of one," is there something different to pull out of the quote? There may be obstacles to overcome in the future, but that is what life is all about: finding what works for you. 

I will leave you with this: "eliminate the excuses, achieve the results."

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