Jacob Ender

Jacob Ender

Share your educational background, including degree(s), institution(s), undergraduate major and graduation year(s).Associate in Applied Arts: Visual Communication Technology, Graphic Design (2010, Century college) Bachelor of Arts in Speech-Language-Hearing Science (2021, UMN)

What led you to this profession? Tell us about your path. 
I learned through exploring different roles in my first career as a graphic designer and creative director that I am much more interested in serving people and figuring out how to get them where they want to be rather than working on design and product campaigns. I took a lot of time to explore how I might be able to apply this in a new career, and what that career might look like. I liked the idea of teaching, but I know that I am much better off working with smaller groups/ individuals rather than a classroom. Speech-Language Pathology seemed like an interesting place to land, so I shadowed some SLPs and decided to go for it.

What experiences did you have that confirmed your choice of profession?
I volunteered with an organization called Minnesota Connect Aphasia Now, where I was a conversation partner for people with aphasia. Working in groups and one-on-one helped me contextualize some of the material from the classroom, and helped me understand where exactly all this information was leading and what it could be used for.

What kinds of obstacles have you encountered in pursuing your goals, and how did you overcome them?
My biggest obstacle was balancing my coursework while working part-time and taking care of my family. I found that consolidating and limiting the time I spent on coursework helped me keep it from spilling into other aspects of my life, such as spending time with my son and spouse. If you limit the time you put into something, you're more likely to use the time really well!

What makes your story unique?
During my second year in undergrad as a 29 year-old, my spouse and I welcomed our son into the world, thus increasing my coffee consumption and giving me even more reason to succeed in my pursuit of a new career!

Did anyone encourage or discourage you from pursuing your goals? How did you overcome that obstacle?
Everyone in my family has been very supportive and encouraging in my pursuit of a new career - especially my spouse, Hannah. I have also had an incredible amount of support from UMN professors, as well as an SLP that I have maintained contact with after initially connecting.