Rapid City Students - Meet Career Advisor Bill Christensen

Posted on May 26, 2021

Meet Bill Christensen, our newest Career Advisor at the Rapid City Job Service. He’s been on the job with the Department of Labor and Regulation for two months. We recently visited with Bill to find out more about him and what services he can provide to area youth to get on a path to success.

One of the things I love about my career here at the Department of Labor and Regulation is my work schedule changes daily. For example, my day may start by reaching out and meeting with different employers and then transition to giving a soft skills presentation about communication at one of the local high schools.

Early in the afternoon usually finds me fulfilling open office hours at one of my designated schools. During open office hours, I am available to help students with real-world skills such as resume/cover letter writing, interviewing, job search assistance, and establishing internships or apprenticeships. By midday, I may be visiting virtually with students in the region about real-world skills as well. Finally, I may be ending my workday in the DLR office, returning phone calls, and facilitating a Career Fair for the upcoming week.

My favorite part of the job is working with students and getting to experience the changes in their lives. I get asked a lot, “What’s in it for me? Why is this better than what I’m already doing?” I tell them we all have areas we can improve upon, even as adults. The Career Launch program can help students expand on real-world skills such as applying for jobs, interviewing, job training and financial awareness and may offer a possibility of providing funding for post-secondary training.

We have some great programs, but we find youth are afraid to apply because they don’t know what they want to do or if they’ll like a path they choose. That’s the great thing about having a Career Advisor, we are with you every step of the way. If you aren’t happy, we’ll find you something different. We are in this field to genuinely help students improve their lives and find a path that suits them. Career Launch isn’t a tool used to judge people. It is a tool to help youth expand on their dreams, wants, desires and ambitions in life.

There are expectations for youth entering the program and based on each student’s goals. I may meet with one student weekly, but in other cases, I could meet with a student once a month to discuss their progress or provide help and answer questions. Just like in everything you do in life, you must apply yourself, and you only get out as much as you put in.

Each student is unique. My absolute favorite part of the program is I get to help our future leaders improve their lives and realize their full potential, whether through training, career exploration, or focusing on the skills they already possess. We’ll invest in you, so you need to invest in yourself. Every student I’ve worked with has made an impression on me, and I hope I have made an impression on them to better their own lives and know together to make their dreams a reality.

One last piece of advice be true to yourself and go into a career you think you will enjoy. Don’t waste your time in a field that doesn’t make you happy, but don’t be afraid to try something new. In the words of Steve Jobs, “Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

You can schedule a meeting with Bill directly by calling or texting to 605-391-7796 Monday- Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. He will also have office hours this summer at Rapid City High School on Tuesday mornings from 8 a.m. to Noon during June and July.