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EU alumni perspective: Stephanie (Yonke) Anderson

Name: Stephanie (Yonke) Anderson
(Married to Andy Anderson, CBC 2009)

Graduation Year: 2012

Major: B.A. in English (with a concentration in French and minor in Business Management)

Current Position: Operations Coordinator at I Pour Life

City and State: Springfield, Missouri

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

I serve as the Operations Coordinator for I Pour Life, a non-profit based in Springfield, Missouri, with efforts in both the United States and Ethiopia. My job is to help I Pour Life grow sustainably by creating and implementing new systems alongside our Executive Director (Julie Higgins, EU alum) and Director of Finance. I work to develop growth strategies that support and undergird our current programs, while also setting I Pour Life up to launch into the future and say “yes” to new opportunities, such as expanded site-based Life Coaching for at-risk youth in Missouri and the launch of an Orphan Care program in Kore, Ethiopia.

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

This is a tough question. I have so many great memories of my time at Evangel, and could easily make this a “top twenty” list instead of sharing just one memory. Just to name a few, the music groups I was a part of, studying abroad, Fashion Fever Committee, and professors who invested in my life. But, many of my favorite Evangel memories take place in Walther Hall, where I lived all four years and was an RA for three years on W2N. I’m still close friends with many of the girls I lived with and love seeing how each of them has been able to step into their callings and are living the “big dreams” we used to talk about late at night. 

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

I came to Evangel with a lot of ideas about what I wanted to be when I “grew up,” but I had little idea what God was asking me to do or how the seemingly random set of interests and talents He gave me would ever come together. Through professors, Resident Directors, friends, and countless others who I may have never met except for at Evangel, God spoke to me and showed me who He created me to be. It was at Evangel that I felt confident in my calling for the first time and was able to start taking steps toward living it out.

How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?

Evangel helped me broaden my skill set and gave me opportunities to learn in practice, rather than in theory. I’ve been able to use every bit of knowledge I learned at Evangel to grow in my career and calling so far, including the things I had no idea why I was learning at the time or classes I took outside of my major because I felt like I was “supposed to.”

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

There is always something you can learn in any job, even if it’s not your dream job. Looking back over my career thus far, there are things I learned in my first entry-level job out of Evangel that if I didn’t know now, I’d be behind the curve on both professionally and personally. Also, college is a unique time where your whole focus is on personal and spiritual growth, so absorb as much as you can. Take the extra time to learn from professors, classmates, and others who are pouring into your life right now.

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?

One of the top traits I look for in any new hire is a teachable spirit. If someone comes into an interview acting like they have it all figured out, it’s a turn-off. When interviewing, I look for someone who showcases their talents and strengths as well as shows me how willing they are to learn in the new role by asking questions. Also, I look for a potential new hire who shares stories about how they were able to grow their skills and work well with others in the past.