As native Michigander but not from West Michigan, Anne Gaertner is an example of someone who stewarded gifts and time wisely in college to pave the way for a successful post-graduate experience.
Anne's last semester of college was dedicated to finding a health care public relations job in Grand Rapids. After visiting all hospital and health care-related websites, it became clear that no such positions were available. But Anne was intentional about building a life in Grand Rapids and took a different approach. She introduced herself to area public relations directors as a potential employee moving to Grand Rapids in seven weeks who wanted to know if they'd be hiring in the near future.
One health system was looking for someone to work on a contractual basis. Anne obtained a DBA certificate and worked on contract for one year. The contract provided just 30 hours a week so she picked up freelance writing opportunities and even served as a substitute teacher. Though not a traditional experience, Anne found she could do what she wanted to do—work in health care public relations—in a city she wanted to call home. She eventually pivoted to human resources and most recently to higher education—made possible by continual relationship building and a willingness to try something new.
"Serving at Cornerstone University is a chance for me to give back, so to speak, to an industry that shaped me personally and professionally. One of my favorite professors attended my wedding more than 10 years after graduation and then my baby shower nearly 15 years after graduation. College is a time to develop lifelong relationships with meaningful impact. If I can give one Cornerstone student what Dr. K gave me, I'll be serving our students as God intended."
- Master of Science in Management, Cornerstone University
- Bachelor of Applied Arts in Integrative Public Relations and Personal and Community Health, Central Michigan University
—Maintaining good health through biking, strength training and walking