Just as Gail Rooney helped her discover her post-Illinois career path, Rebecca (Diaz) Luebbert has done the same — both for students at her alma mater and at another Big Ten campus.
“I majored in political science and sociology and thought that I was destined to be an attorney but soon realized that my heart was not in the right place and so I began exploring other options,” Luebbert says from Minneapolis.
“It was in my senior year that I was referred to The Career Center, where I met with Gail Rooney, former associate dean of leadership and career development and director of The Career Center.
“At first, I was intimated to go to career coaching but after meeting Gail, I was put at ease, I felt reaffirmed and encouraged. Not knowing what I wanted to do was normalized and I found myself eager to continue my exploration journey.
“Afterward, I found my footing in a career in higher education and later returned to work at The Career Center at Illinois. I truly enjoy creating experiences that help bring people together and help others find their passion. Since then, I have progressed to my current role as director of career and business engagement” at the University of Minnesota “and have had a passion for helping others find their passion, as well.”
The other campus spot that helped Luebbert find her way: La Casa Cultural Latina.
“Illinois did not feel like my home away from home until I joined a multicultural sorority,” she says, but “from there, my undergraduate experience really soared. I enjoyed volunteering, chapter meetings and connecting with others at La Casa Cultural Latina.
“I also spent much of my time at the undergraduate library — (aka) Club Undergrad — and meeting up with friends in front of the Union. As a Latina, I found having a smaller community of peers with similar experiences and cultural values to be refreshing in the midst of the larger community.”