Cameron Aisenbrey, communications specialist for the Department of Residence and ISU Dining, says: Bethany started her career at ISU in catering but was chosen to run our $13 million newly renovated dining facility, Seasons Marketplace. She currently oversees more than 280 staff members and a $6.8 million budget.
When Seasons opened, staff members could have easily questioned Bethany’s credentials for the job, but she quickly proved any hesitations were not necessary.
One of the big things I am proud of is opening up Seasons Marketplace. I didn’t start with that until June and we were up and rolling by August for service. So we had two months to get to know one another, figure out how everything was going to work and smooth over any tensions.
I’d like to think that I am more flexible to change and more willing to try new things. We’re willing to make mistakes and we just go for it, balls to the wall and figure out what’s going to happen.
A big challenge was the perception that comes with being young and blond. My age has nothing to do with my skill. I’ve worked against that by leading by example. I’m not going to ask someone else to pull 18 hours a day if I’m not doing it. That’s earned me a lot of respect with the people who have been here a long time. That first two months were the toughest. I’d have these people who were my parents’ age calling me kiddo every day. I’m sorry, please don’t call me kiddo.
I think the coolest thing for me is getting a phone call or Facebook message from a student of mine from years ago saying, “hey, this is where I am and I attribute that to you.”
I know the direction I want to go is up. I want to keep learning and growing. I’m always keeping the door open for new opportunities because Seasons wouldn’t have been anything I would have thought of if someone hadn’t put it in my head. I just want to keep my options open.