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Member profile: Bill O'Connor

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Bill O'Connor

Assistant Director of Communication, Orientation & First-Year Programs (OFYP)

Started at the University of Minnesota in December 2005.

UMCF member since 2006.

What brought you to your current job? 
I was working at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and decided that I wanted to work on a masters degree. My hope was to find a job at the U of M to take advantage of the Regents Scholarship Program. I started job searching and luckily found my current position. In spring of 2011, I earned a Master of Public Affairs from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. 

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Although many things are consistent, there is a lot of variety in my projects. Orientation and First Year Programs (OFYP) conducts focus groups, surveys, and is constantly looking for ways to improve. I like the balance of familiarity and change that happens in my job.

What advice do you have for communicators at the University of Minnesota?
We have so many talented colleagues throughout the University. I feel that many of my successes have happened because of the great people we work with and the willingness to share ideas and resources. Collaborate whenever possible! 

Your hometown and the first place you lived after leaving your hometown? 
Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1994, I finished my undergraduate degree but had no idea what I wanted to do. I found a job in Deerfield, Illinois working as a volunteer naturalist for Ryerson Woods, a preserve in Lake County. I taught basic environmental education classes, led nature hikes, and cared for an injured Red-Tailed Hawk named "Boo Boo". 

I'm happiest when: 
When I feel free: driving across the country, backpacking, biking, sitting in an unfamiliar coffee shop and people-watching. 

Before I die, I would like to: 
Live in another country for a few years, learn the language and customs, and experience life through a completely different lens.

1 Comment

The name "Boo Boo" for an injured hawk? Priceless - I love it!

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  • Jacqueline Brudlos: The name "Boo Boo" for an injured hawk? Priceless - read more

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