Amy Byres is a second year journalism and mass communication major at the University of New Mexico, but her professional career began several years ago and has been a large influence in her life.
In her early teens, Byres spent her weekends cleaning the offices of Geo-Test, a company owned by her family, she said.
Later, she began working at Geo-Test full time during the summer and part time during the school year until she graduated from high school. Byres still performed housekeeping for the company, but the expectations of her job duties increased, as she would work in the lab, beginning tests that would be completed by more experienced employees.
Byres mostly worked alongside her father, the lab manager, and her mother, the administrative assistant of the Alburquerque location. Working in close proximity with her parents meant she had no room for excuses, and she was held to high expectations regarding her work ethic and efficiency.
“By working alongside my family, I learned that asking questions is a good thing,” Byers said. “Even if it annoys the employers, just ask questions to make yourself a better employee.”
This workplace dynamic allowed her to hold herself to a high standard of accountability and professionalism, she said.
“I learned how to conduct myself in a professional manner, because my bosses were also my parents, so they were able to say, ‘No, you need to act this way instead,’ to correct and teach me proper behavior in the workplace,” Byers said.
From working at Geo-Test, Byres transitioned to working as a graphic designer, culture reporter, news reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. She found that the skills she learned in Geo-Test were applicable to maintaining an efficient and confident sense of ability in the workplace.
“Because I started working so early, I feel like (working) is my way of life and my work ethic reflects that,” Byres said.
Through her experience at Geo-Test, she learned how to have a solid set of interpersonal skills and to allow her strong values to be reflected in a professional setting while understanding how to present herself in the workplace, Byres said.
Rebecca Brusseau is a news reporter at the Daily Lobo. She primarily covers the LGBTQ community. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @r_brusseau.