Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Lauren found success through Vocational Counseling!



Katelyn Lacy, a vocational counselor in the Central Virginia region, started working with Lauren Garrett in April of 2017.  They began by completing extensive job development training for four and a half months. Together, they worked on job interviewing skills, social interactions within interviews as well as with coworkers.  Lauren worked on distinguishing boundaries with coworkers as well as learning appropriate topics of conversation in the workplace.

While Lauren has many personal strengths — she is a straightforward and friendly person— when Katelyn began working with her it was clear she wasn’t a fan of change. However, as time went on, Katelyn was able to support Lauren through the transition of finding employment, transportation, and learning communication styles with different individuals in different environments.  After this learning period and 11 interviews, Lauren obtained her current position at UVA Runk Dining Hall with Aramark as a Food Service worker in the Bakery!

During her first week of working at Aramark in the dining hall, she was placed in the salad bar, but due to the short staff in the bakery department, the Supervisor ended up moving her to Bakery.  She was resistant at first to the move, but after discussing the position and skills that she could gain, Lauren agreed to give it a try.  Now, Lauren is happy and loves her position in the Bakery and doesn’t mind switching to other stations within the dining hall as Aramark employees work as a team unit and Lauren is always happy to support her co-workers.

Her daily tasks consist of food prepping, baking and following a schedule of dessert items that need to be portioned, plated, or baked each day.  In addition to the bakery, Lauren also supports other stations within the dining hall if there is a call-out or extra help is needed.  She truly enjoys helping her coworkers.

Lauren loves to speak and get to know others, so she has made many friends with her coworkers and students while working at the UVA Dining Hall.  She also has the dream of opening her own bakery someday as she truly enjoys it!  The dining hall continues to be a great opportunity to allow Lauren to gain new skills, find a creative outlet in baking, and talking with others as she enjoys and is good at making friends.

Lauren has grown within her position at Aramark and achieved multiple Spot Awards for Sell and Serve with Passion and Teamwork.  She has also been mentioned on the WOW Board that posts surveys of dining hall customers for her friendliness and efforts at the bakery. She has also become accomplished at gaining healthy and supportive relationships with her coworkers and Supervisors that has allowed her to become more comfortable at work. She has improved communication with others about concerns or confusion with conversations she may not understand.  She has reached stability within her position and her case has since been closed within job training services.  Lauren continues to reach out to her Supervisors and coworkers for support when needed and she continues to grow and shine within her position.

Lauren is a loving, comical and friendly young woman. She loves to make others laugh and have a good time.  Alongside her sense of humor, she is from the small town of Gordonsville and has that distinct southern charm about her.  She knows practically everyone from her hometown and enjoys getting to know all the ‘regulars' at Runk Dining Hall.

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