Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

A Mentor Inspires

I am so lucky to have had the best mentor anyone can ask for. Julie Burgardt is the digital manager at Araks, an entrepreneur, and the person who I worked most closely with. This summer, Julie has taught me valuable lessons that I will bring with me to all my future jobs. The first is that as long as you are constantly growing at your job, there is no need to change it. I took away from this that you should always be growing as a person and constantly learning. Money does not represent success for knowledge is way more valuable. Likely, liking your coworkers, the product, and the environment is what is important. Everyone wants to work with people they get along with so work does not have to feel like work. Julie stresses that being part of a great team of people matters the most. Next, loving the product (if there is one), is important as well. Only when you are passionate about the product can you truly do a good job. Whatever I do decide to do in the future, I have to do it proudly. I am definitely the type of person who talks too much about their job in social settings. My life is my life and I never want there to be a hard separation between work and play.
It was very satisfying talking to Julie because I learned that we have the same views on fast fashion. It takes an immense amount of water to grow cotton and fast fashion contributes to this epidemic. Julie, who is also an entrepreneur, built sustainability practices into her company. She had a loungewear company that used natural dye from plants to color the fabric. Sustainable methods like this take up more time, effort, and money and is the reason why not everybody is doing it. But the answer to “do we want to have a planet?” is yes. This shows that you can indeed embed social, economic, and environmental responsibility into a company and not merely dabble in them.