As an assistant director in Kelley Indy Career Services, Sherry Zike specializes in counseling students with practical career advice. After having her own careers in accounting, teaching and managing a rock band, Sherry has a variety of advice to offer.
Q: You’ve been at Kelley 15 years – what do you like best about your job?
Sherry: I feel free to create solutions in different ways. Not all my ideas are good ones, but they are heard and taken seriously. I appreciate that collaborative environment.
Q: You keep track of career trends and counsel students on how careers fit into their lives – how did you find your way into your own career?
Sherry: My husband and I both earned business degrees at IUPUI before it was Kelley (we met here at school.) He’d come back to do some networking and discovered that Kelley’s Career Services needed an admin. I started here the very first day the career center opened. I received Myers-Briggs (MBTI) training, which turned out to be a somewhat religious experience for me. It validated a lot of things I’ve noticed while working with kids throughout the years. After that, I decided I wanted to move into more of a counseling role and I’ve done that ever since.
Q: What lessons do you most want to share with your students?
Sherry: My career philosophy is unique because my own has been so varied, and it’s different for every person. I don’t think career is just your job- it’s how your whole life fits together. I help students think about that when they’re making decisions. At age 19, you may not be sure where you’re headed or what makes you happy. My first job right out of college was as an accountant and I was miserable because it wasn’t right for me. I think it’s important that students don’t get into that position from the start because it’s a path that can be difficult to recover from. I try to help them understand who they are and what kind of work environment best suits them.
Q: What did you do before you joined Kelley?
Sherry: I’ve done a lot of different things. Immediately prior to coming to Kelley I was the manager for a local alternative rock band. My daughter was the drummer my son played clarinet. I booked gigs for them all over Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kentucky, Cincinnati and a lot of different places. I did the advertising, arranged the album and managed the money. It was a lot of fun. I loved it. I did that for five years and really enjoyed the satisfaction they received from it. Plus, it was an opportunity to spend time with my kids in their early college years.
Q: You also worked as an elementary school teacher’s aide for seven years – why did you switch to working with older kids?
Sherry: Older children have a lot of promise and the capacity to shape their future. Sometimes all they need is somebody to believe in them and help them validate what they’re feeling, and help them make decisions based on that.