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Lessons from someone at the top of her game

Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto speaks with students at DCTC Tuesday.

Nancy Shoemake doesn't just want to teach her students the skills of accounting. She wants to give them the connections to go out and find a job as well.

With that in mind the Dakota County Technical College accounting instructor set up a program Nov. 27 to have Rebecca Otto, the Minnesota State Auditor, come speak to her students to tell them what opportunities exist to work in government.

"We're bringing in real world people to help students know what's out there," said Shoemake.

Otto, the first woman Democrat to be elected state auditor, shared her experience as auditor, the need for accountability in government and discussed what jobs are available in government.

A group of about 50 business students attended the hour-long presentation, including Christina Graves. Graves said Otto's presentation helped her realize how many opportunities are out there for people in the accounting field. A stay-at-home mom who recently went back to school, Graves said she feels better about her degree choice after the presentation.

"It was good for me. She made feel a lot more comfortable," said Graves.

Student Jan Mayhew will graduate in December and said Otto provided a positive portrayal of government and made her consider jobs in the public sector. She's been looking for work and said she would use some of the online resources Otto suggested.

After her talk, Otto stuck around to speak with students one on one. She walked around the room and asked if students felt they had learned anything and talked with them about their career goals. Otto said she enjoys talking with students and tries to do presentations for them when asked.

Shoemake was pleased with how the program went and said she hopes to bring in more speakers after the New Year.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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