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College Student Finds Fulfilling Career at ACR Homes Before Graduation

Residential Supervisor, Leah Fastenau

Finding a full-time job after graduation can be hard. The time, effort, and commitment of job hunting is overwhelming to think about while working toward completing your bachelor’s degree. We caught up with ACR Homes employee, Leah Fastenau who secured a full-time Residential Supervisor position before graduating from college. She’s proof that finding the right career level job before graduation is possible without having to go through the stress of a big job hunt.

“Interviewing for the Residential Supervisor (RS) position at ACR Homes before graduating was honestly such a comfort”

“I’m a type A planner who loves knowing what's coming up next," said Leah. "Accepting the job felt like a weight off my shoulders and the whole process was simpler than I thought it would be. I just filled out an application and scheduled a virtual interview online.” She particularly enjoyed her interview with Chief Operating Officer, Gene Leistico because he took the time to get to know her and her background while also discussing the importance of the work at ACR Homes before offering her the job.

 

ACR Homes provides personalized & high-quality care for adults with disabilities living in group homes located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area of Minnesota. Our core values are built right into the name, which stand for “acceptance”, “communication”, and “respect”. With a unique person-centered model of care that helps integrate the residents in their communities, and support the individual wants and needs of the residents, ACR has always been considered an industry leader. Residential Supervisors support adults with disabilities through group home management, direct care, advocacy, administration, staff training and development, and coordination of care. It's a rewarding position that allows upcoming and recent graduates the opportunity to perform a career level job right out of school. The full-time paid training program makes that possible.

Leah attended the University of Minnesota and graduated with a bachelor's degree as a double major in special education and family social science. When contemplating what jobs would line up with her education, experiences, and values Leah found that ACR Homes met those criteria. She learned about the Residential Supervisor position through a presentation in her college class. Before that, she largely believed the company only offered part-time direct care jobs for college students. Leah networked with the recruiter from her class, planned ahead, and was able to interview for the Residential Supervisor position before the stress of finals, graduating, and the questions of “what’s next” were truly imminent. Leah shared that “going into the end of the semester knowing I had a full-time career level job lined up made me feel lucky, grateful, and excited for the next chapter of life.”

Although she’s newer in her role, she shared that “The Residential Supervisor position allows me to work closely with individuals with disabilities on a small ratio scale and allows me to advocate for them. It relates to my degree because I’m the center of communication for my residents between direct care professionals, nurses, guardians, and health care providers. I’m able to highlight where residents are thriving and where they need an additional support. Being a Residential Supervisor makes me feel like I’m in the role that I hoped to do after graduation.”

Residential Supervisor with Direct Care professionals and residents at Minnesota Rally advocating for people with disabilities
Residential Supervisor performing group home management tasks on the program floor of ACR Homes group home
Residential Supervisor doing a cheers with a resident in the group home

Leah shared about how she continues to find value from this job. “What I have learned from this role thus far has only built on what I learned during my undergraduate education. Being able to see each resident happy, and building a connection with each resident is truly the highlight of my job. I love getting to be an integral part of their lives and be the main point of communication behind the scenes.” As she gets further into the role, she’s learning to even embrace some of the harder aspects of the job such as scheduling and redirecting resident behaviors. However, she said “the support and flexibility of the role has surprised me in the best way”, and went on to affirm that the relationship she has with her supervisor is better than should could have asked for, especially for how short of a time they've been working together.

ACR Homes is proud to have Leah as a Residential Supervisor. If you’re looking for a job after graduation, please read the Residential Supervisor Job description and click apply now to pursue the role. Leah said, “I have nothing but positive things to say about my experience in becoming and working as a Residential Supervisor. When people in my life ask me how the new job is going, I feel like a broken record telling them how I love doing the work and building relationships with my residents, staff, and supervisor. Working at ACR has been an amazing fit as a new college graduate and I am beyond excited to see how continuing my work here goes.”

When asked if she had advice for students getting close to graduation, here is what she shared:

“I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason and things will play out exactly how they are supposed to. If you’re nervous about finding a full-time job after graduation, my advice would be to trust the process. It’s okay if you do not know exactly what you want to do when you graduate. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, attend various job fairs on campus, and set up information interviews with different companies to see what a good fit for you may be. Having these conversations can always be helpful because you may learn a company is not a right fit, which is valuable information. At the end of the day, it is okay to be nervous about post-graduation life but know that everything will work out and you will figure out what the best thing is for you moving forward.”

"if you have interest in working with individuals with disabilities, checking out ACR Homes for a job is a great place to start. Each resident is an amazing person who has a story to share with you. With a range of homes from medical to behavioral, there’s bound to be a house where you fit in. There will be ups and downs like any other job you may have, but each day is an adventure where you’ll leave work feeling rewarded in the positive impact you have left on your residents.”

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