When Steven Hartman was a freshman at Indiana Wesleyan University, he wanted to major in business and have a career in sports marketing. That year, one of his professors offered career advice that eventually led Hartman to his job as assistant director of employer relations at DePauw.
“I was touched by my professor’s ability and desire to want to help me walk through the process of getting a job,” he says. “He told me I’d need to set myself apart from other candidates and he also shared networking tips.”
While interviewing for jobs after graduation, Hartman became a substitute teacher. In the classroom he found a sense of purpose that he wasn’t finding elsewhere, and decided to get a teaching degree in elementary education online from St. Mary’s of the Woods College. For six years he taught fifth grade and at the same time earned a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Indiana Wesleyan.
A few years into teaching, he began to question his life’s purpose. “I thought, I don’t know if this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I loved the ability to impact students, but I wanted more.”
A couple years later, he made the move to higher education and became an admission counselor at Indiana State University.
The commitment has also helped us expand our focus. We want to make sure there are ample and exciting opportunities for every student across campus.
“While the position gave me experience interacting with students and families and learning about higher ed in general, it wasn’t what I really wanted to do.” So, after a year, he applied for the job at DePauw, and says, “it’s been a perfect fit. I love my job.”
His responsibility in employee relations at the Hubbard Center is to develop relationships that enable students to find internships or job opportunities. Hartman encourages employers to come to campus to recruit, provide informational sessions and post jobs through Handshake, a recruiting platform.
How does the new Gold Commitment change what he does? “It reminds us every day what we’re here to do,” he says. “Every relationship that we build has value and could potentially be that avenue a student needs to make a placement. The commitment has also helped us expand our focus. We want to make sure there are ample and exciting opportunities for every student across campus.”
He says the DePauw alumni network is incredibly strong. “Alums are reaching out to ask how can they be of assistance. There are always great opportunities out there, and if I don’t have good leads, I pick up the phone and call someone where those needs exist.
“You can always hear ‘no,’ but I have yet to hear, ‘we are not interested in hiring from DePauw.’”