ASPSA Intern Alumni Series – Wendy LeBlanc (’05-’06)

Wendy LeBlanc joined the Tulane community in January 2013, working as a learning specialist for the athletics department and as an academic advisor for baseball. Within athletics, LeBlanc works with students one-one on time management, academic strategies, and academic advising. LeBlanc also coordinates the psycho-educational screening and testing for all student-athletes, serving as a liaison with campus student support offices.

LeBlanc enjoys getting to know other students in the Tulane community through teaching. She began her role as a Tulane adjunct instructor in Fall 2014. She has experience teaching two career-focused classes: TYLR 3000 “Taylor Your Life” and CRDV 1090 “Majors, Internships and Jobs.” Additionally, she has also taught sections of a Tulane’s freshmen seminar class and has recently developed and teaches a special topics course “Domestic Extremism” for Tulane’s Homeland Security program.

LeBlanc was part of the inaugural 2005-2006 NC State internship class. After her internship year, she worked at NC State as tutor coordinator and academic counselor.  Prior to Tulane, LeBlanc also worked at the University of Georgia as a learning specialist.

Originally from Kenner, Louisiana, LeBlanc is a licensed master social worker (LMSW), earning her Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Louisiana State University. She also recently earned a Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security from Tulane University.

 

What is the most valuable thing you learned from your internship that you brought with you to your next institution?

Since I was part of the first internship class, I think it was a learning experience for both me and the full-time staff about what amount of responsibility was appropriate for interns. I learned the value of asking for more experiences when you need it, as well as providing constructive feedback on experiences. Even from a distance, I can see how the program has grown tremendously since the first cohort. Additionally, I’ve taken my experiences with me as I’ve worked with GAs at my other institutions – asking them what they want out the experience and including them on how processes work that they may be exposed to if they want to continue in the field.

 

What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned since leaving NC State?

Life balance! Don’t let work consume you – it will still be there the next day. Set boundaries early so you are not “on call” 24/7. Additionally, venture outside of athletics -get involved in campus and/or community activities, trainings, meetings, etc.

 

What advice would you give to future interns?

Be vocal during your internship time about experiences and skill sets you want to gain. Look at job postings for positions you are interested in – what types of experiences/knowledge do you still need to acquire? Keep a curiosity mindset during your time: Find out what roles people currently do, what they’ve done to get where they are, what they want to do next. Dig deeper into things you have an interest in, whether it’s learning about best practices, having informational interviews, shadowing, or taking on a project.

 

Can you talk about your job search post internship?

The job search can be a frustrating process, especially as the end of your internship is approaching. Let coworkers know where you are applying, ask for resume/interview advice, and prepare! Also, as frustrating as it is, be prepared to NOT hear a response, even if you had made it to an interview stage. I was fortunate that there were some transitions happening as my internship ended, and I was able to stay on as a full-time employee. However, what I’ve realized since then is the importance of your networks in the job search process. For both of my positions after NC State, I wasn’t actively looking at the time. For one, a former colleague reached out and asked me to apply for an opening at his school, and for my current position, a coworker that was looking at jobs sent me the posting because she knew New Orleans was home for me.

 

What advice would you give for the job search?

Take advantage of opportunities to make connections – especially while at events like the drive-in conference. Use opportunities available to present and engage, or even engage on a smaller scale with new individuals during breaks or at lunch. You never know who will be in a hiring position later. Even if they aren’t the ones hiring, they may be able to suggest/refer you for other positions. Athletics is a small world, and people typically move around, so you never know when you may cross paths again with someone.

Finally, make sure your career documents (resume, LinkedIn) are up-to-date. You never know when an opportunity may come up that you need to quickly act on – having documents ready will make that time a lot less stressful.

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