An advantage of a large university like MU is the number of resources available to students. In the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource, one of its shining lights is the guidance provided by Stephanie Chipman, director of Career Services for the college.
“I’m very thankful for the example Stephanie sets as a leader in CAFNR Career Services,” said Whitney Kinne assistant director of Career Services. “I consider myself lucky to work on the same team helping CAFNR students.”
Chipman is a unique individual; she does her job because she simply loves to see the growth in a student.
“I never wanted to have a career where I made a lot of money, I wanted to have the opportunity to work with people,” Chipman said.
Chipman is a graduate of Drury University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master of arts in education. Throughout her professional career Chipman has held several positions from recruitment to advising and finally career services. Before coming to MU, she worked with Truman State and Drury University. CAFNR has been her professional home for the past 10 years.
Discovering the personality of Mizzou was a bit of a surprise for Chipman who said she wasn’t expecting to come to a large university and have such close interpersonal relationships, or to find that the University was committed to always doing right by its students and faculty.
“Mizzou has a culture of its own,” Chipman said.
Motivations for coming to the university vary for staff and faculty just as they do for students. Some have been bleeding black and gold since childhood, some come for the outstanding academic reputations of programs such as the Journalism School, others because they found comfort within a department or were welcomed with open arms during a campus visit. As a faculty member, Chipman said work-life balance was critical when she decided to come to Mizzou.
As the mother of two adopted children, and one with special needs, Chipman said she is blessed to work in such a supportive environment.
“My family is religious, we say ‘thank you’ and view what we have been given as a gift,” Chipman said. “Having a child with special needs has given me patience and made me more understanding and compassionate, but I have never known any different.”
Kinne said that Chipman is a great person to work with; she is thoughtful, friendly and extremely helpful. She has a charismatic approach to working with students and employers that Kinne admires. Chipman works tirelessly to benefit CAFNR students, which is evident in the great ideas she shares with the Career Services team.
“Stephanie is extremely smart, innovative, and talented in the work she does, and she always finds a way to make that work fun,” Kinne said.
Career Services is a future-focused department, and as the director of that department, it is Chipman’s job to help undergraduate students decide where they want to go after graduation and what they can do at Mizzou to enhance the chances of success.
“Stephanie wants to see every student find their passion and succeed,” Miranda Coulson, sophomore animal sciences major, said. “She works really hard to get every student placed into their dream job.”
Seeing where students want to go in the future, where they end up and being able to interact with alumni are a few of the most rewarding parts of Chipman’s job.
“I take my job very seriously,” Chipman said. “It is my job to do the best I can for you.”
Our day-to-day experiences, failures and successes help us develop into the person we want to be and follow the path we feel is best. Chipman promotes the idea that successful people have positive attitudes and that we should initiate positive change.
“Approach every experience as though you could learn something, discover things that you wouldn’t normally find interest in, and find something you care about and go with it.”