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Baylee Snyder: Putting an entrepreneurial, intentional mindset to career development

Baylee Snyder: Putting an entrepreneurial, intentional mindset to career development

When Baylee Snyder was little, she dreamed of being two things: a baker and a teacher. She grew up thinking that she would teach, and was surrounded by people who encouraged that dream. An entrepreneur at heart, she created her own headband and babysitting businesses, complete with business cards!

When it came time to choose a college, Baylee decided to attend Midland University, which had a great education program, but also gave her an opportunity to play volleyball and to be a member of the Honors program. “I chose Midland because it was near to home, but not too close, and I could play volleyball,” Baylee said. “But Midland became so much more than that. I just love Midland! It is a close-knit community and like home to me.”

College opened her mind and heart to a new world of opportunities, and brought out that entrepreneurial spirit in her as she explored degree and career options. “I began to really explore what careers are out there, and to consider what I could do to grow as a professional and to excel in a career,” she said. “I challenged myself to open my mind to the possibilities and to learn more.”

Initially, Baylee pursued a degree in elementary education, but also found herself extremely interested in business and marketing. Wanting some guidance, she often visited with Connie Kreikemeier, Executive Director of the Midland University Career Studio. “When it came to a career, I didn’t know how to look at the big picture – how my strengths, experiences, interests, and opportunities all played a part in discovering a career path that was right for me,” Baylee said.

Connie coached her to better understand her strengths, to look at the big picture, and encouraged her to complete internships related to both professions. The summer after her sophomore year, Baylee completed an Early Childhood internship at the Donald O. Clifton Child Development Center at the Gallup Organization in Omaha. This internship not only gave her an opportunity to teach, but it also exposed her to a strengths-based business culture she loved. Looking to experience more careers and business cultures, Baylee researched and applied for many internships that interested her. She was a finalist for a NASA internship, and hit the jackpot with an internship at Stryker in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which she completed in the summer of 2019, prior to her senior year.

At Stryker, Baylee found another strengths-based, energetic, and empowering culture that resonated with her. “On my first day, I was a bit overwhelmed. Everyone there was so intelligent,” she said. “But I realized I was chosen to intern here for a reason, and I just began to attack my projects one at a time.” Her strategy worked, and she was offered a full-time corporate training position upon graduation. She plans to move to Fort Lauderdale in May and begin a career where her passions for education and business meet to create her dream job.

In her senior year at Midland, Baylee continues to stretch and challenge herself to grow in her strengths, knowledge and skills. She accepted a corporate communications internship at Union Pacific in Omaha during the fall semester, and she also works as a Student Career Coach in Midland University’s Career Studio. In her role, she manages social media and inspires and helps other students to build great resumes, explore opportunities and find great internships.

As she coaches students on their resumes and empowers them to create their path to success, Baylee uses her own examples as a model of excellence. She intentionally built on her knowledge, strengths and skills, enhanced her professional experiences, and was involved and served in many facets of campus life. She not only worked hard in the classroom, on the volleyball court, and in her jobs and internships, but she also made many lifelong friends and enjoyed every year at Midland.

Her best advice to students? “Be entrepreneurial with your strengths,” she said. “My biggest asset is what I am good at. It is the same with every student. Know what you are good at and capitalize on that. Take your strengths and run with them. Seek out every opportunity, large or small, and go for it!”