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Karen Lederer, APR Business Services Team

University Business Specialist Supervisor, CALS Academic Affairs

Reason for participating in the APR project: I felt it was an opportunity to learn more about business processes across campus, and to have some input on change.

Favorite aspect about the project to date: I loved the Six Sigma training! I feel it's going to be a valuable tool in both my professional and my personal life. I especially appreciated the session on change management. You know, change is always difficult. I have seen how it has worked for me. That session was a real eye-opener.

The other thing I love about APR is having the ability to interact with people across campus, develop networks of support, and gain access to more educational and professional resources.

I think that the whole APR process is wonderful-they are asking people at every level what works for them, what doesn't...and they are listening!

What campus processes work well now?  Which ones don't? Let's talk about a negative. I think there's a lack of training for many business processes. For example, frequently when a person starts in a payroll and benefits position, there's really no training for that position. People have expressed a desire for a manual rather than have websites scattered all over the place, where you have to know where to look for them.

Some of the forms on the business services website, which are supposed to guide and teach you while you're filling them out, don¿t really let you know what kind of information you have to have. And with an online form, there's no one to talk to.

Provide an example of a major professional change you've had to make in your career: I've done everything from being a typist to being a department administrator. The biggest challenge I have had was switching from administrative support to managing a huge budget. I had no training! I never did budget work in my life, except our personal budget at home. But someone had faith in me, and I believed them. I learned that I could do it. I learned to trust my instincts. You do have to take those challenges.

What keeps you working at UW; what is your favorite thing about working here?  I love the university, it's in my blood. I'm the second generation on campus. It's the most exciting place I've ever worked-so many challenges, so much creativity, so many possibilities. You don't get bored.

-edited by-Ruth Olson, APR Communications Team
Associate Director, Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Culture