Get to Know Your MARA Student Assistant
Published: July 19, 2019 by Kenna Wulker
Hi everyone! My name is McKenna Wulker; I usually go by Kenna, and I’m MARA’s current student assistant. Right now, I’m half way through my MARA program and intend to graduate in December of 2020. It’s coming up quick!
I went for my undergrad at Ohio University where I double majored in Sociology-Criminology and Women & Gender Studies. I have always enjoyed learning about the criminal justice system and toyed with many different careers down that avenue. After my junior year, I interned in Athens, Ohio with the Ohio Public Defender. It was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget and it’s what led me to my current job in the legal field. After graduation, I decided that I would try to find work at a law firm while I figure out what I’m actually going to do with my life - you know, that tough question no one can ever really answer… Anyway, I decided to start applying to Taft Law in my hometown of Cincinnati and see if I could get my foot in the door as a legal assistant. After seven (!) applications, I was finally granted an interview. I guess they were just tired of seeing my name and finally realized I wasn’t going away. I was hired as a Document Specialist in December of 2014 and thus started my career here.
How I Found My Passion
I pretty quickly realized that being a Document Specialist, basically an assistant to the assistants, was not going to work for me forever. One day, I was returning files to our records department and made a passing comment to the Records Analyst that they should move me up there. Lo and behold, there was an open position and just a few weeks later, I was being thrown full force into my new role as a Records Analyst! I realized just a few weeks into my new position that I really enjoyed working in records management and I looked forward to coming into work every day.
Fake It ‘Til You Make It
I had been working in Records for three months when, unfortunately, the other Records Analyst was let go and I was left to figure it all out by myself. I didn’t feel like I had enough training or knowledge behind me to run this department, especially in a firm as big as mine, but I didn’t have a choice. As my favorite motto goes: fake it ’til you make it! I did a lot of research, got administrative support when necessary and used my best judgment when running things. Fortunately, I was able to make long-needed changes to our records processes and ended up overhauling my department to become as efficient and effective as possible. I have been able to reduce costs and move us toward being in line with industry standards – something we had long been avoiding. Finally, I was able to get a full time Records Analyst to work along side me and it made life SO. MUCH. EASIER.
My MARA Decision
Because I had discovered my love for records management and planned to make it my career, I felt it necessary to get more formal training and started to research masters programs when I found SJSU’s MARA program. It was perfect. I was able to keep my full time job, work in my field, and gain the education that would support me in the long run. I applied and joined MARA in January 2018. While I lean heavily toward the records administration side of our program, learning about archiving is helpful and I still find the field fascinating. Since joining MARA, I’ve already noticed a difference in the way I work and the way I handle our records. The faculty have been such amazing resources both personally and professionally. I’ve made great connections, learned a lot and plan to continue my growth over my final year and half of MARA. Additionally, after two years of chasing the title, I was finally promoted to Records Supervisor in February 2019!