UNCSA Faculty & Staff share their #FirstSevenJobs

It was the tweet heard around the world: a simple post listing someone’s first seven jobs. #FirstSevenJobs quickly became a trending topic on social media and everyone from actors to astronauts have weighed in to share the (often unglamorous) jobs that led them into their careers.

Take a look at some of the surprising jobs of UNCSA’s faculty, staff and administrators, and be sure to scroll to the end to read where you might have stumbled upon a young Chancellor Bierman on the job: 

Brenda Daniels, Associate Dean of Contemporary Dance
Brenda Daniels
  1. Gift box wrapper
  2. Accessories salesperson
  3. Office gopher
  4. Nanny
  5. Waitress
  6. Dancer
  7. Dance teacher
David English, Interim Provost
David English
  1. Dishwasher/cook at Sallie's Mountain View Restaurant
  2. Dishwasher/prep cook at the Chalet Restaurant at Switzerland Inn
  3. Front Desk Attendant at Switzerland Inn
  4. T-Shirts and varied printing activities at ValuePrint
  5. Ice Cream Scooper/Billiards Attendant at Break Time Family Billiards
  6. Resident Assistant, Student Orientation Leader, Summer Conference Assistant and Residence Life Desk Assistant at Appalachian State University
  7. Dishwasher, prep cook, lead cook, bouncer (in that order) at Lonestar Steakhouse
  8. BONUS! Founder of D's T's Custom T-shirt design and printing


Holland Berson, Wig & Makeup, School of Design & Production
Holland Berson
  1. Making flower arrangements at a garden store
  2. Host at M&S Grill
  3. Waiter at The Zodiac
  4. Bartender at Club Charles
  5. Bartender at Finnigan's Wake
  6. Freelance makeup artist
  7. Lead prosthetic technician at Human Analogue Applications 
Brian Cole, Dean, School of Music
Brian Cole
  1. Delivery person for a construction company
  2. Office worker for a college Continuing Education Department
  3. Cantor and soloist for a Church Choir
  4. Clerk for a classical CD store
  5. Receptionist for a college Admissions Office
  6. Assistant Conductor
  7. Associate Dean of Academic Affairs


Amy Werner, Annual Fund Manager
Amy Werner
  1. Server/Birthday Hostess at Chuck E. Cheese (Yes, I wore the mouse costume)
  2. Associate at a junior’s clothing store
  3. Marketing Co-Op intern
  4. Jewelry Associate at Service Merchandise
  5. Accounts receivable at a family-owned company
  6. Hostess
  7. Glorified Telemarketer (B2B telephone sales)
Bob Gosse, Producing, School of Filmmaking
Bob Gosse
  1. Busboy at Sea Haven Restaurant 
  2. Sales
  3. Pizza maker at Roma Pizza
  4. Cashier at Jon's Stationary
  5. Iron worker with Local 40 NYC
  6. Waiter at Mr. Greenjeans Restaurant
  7. Production Assistant for “Gremlins 2: The New Batch”


Kim Whiteman, Spanish, High School Academics Program
Kim Whiteman
  1. Babysitter
  2. Drug store clerk
  3. Drug store bookkeeper
  4. Office assistant
  5. Tobacco warehouse worker
  6. Tutor
  7. Teacher
Dale Girard, Director of Stage Combat, School of Drama
Dale Girard
  1. Dishwasher
  2. Waiter
  3. Cook
  4. Fast Food (grill and counter)
  5. Barbarian (live action stunt show)
  6. Construction (cement foundations)
  7. Fencing Master/Stage Combat Instructor (Central City Opera)


Karen Beres, Interim Vice-Provost & Dean of Academic Affairs and Piano, School of Music
Karen Beres
  1. Babysitter
  2. Accompanist
  3. Restaurant hostess
  4. Summer camp counselor for inner city kids
  5. Summer playground program director
  6. Community music school director/piano teacher
  7. Adjunct college faculty member at Bowling Green State University
Jason Romney, Sound Design, School of Design & Production
Jason Romney
  1. Mobile DJ: provided music for parties, dances and weddings
  2. Scout Camp Staff: taught rowing, canoeing, crafts and lifeguarded
  3. Lifeguard and swim instructor: County public pool in Salt Lake City, Utah
  4. Actor: Played a big purple dragon that could sing and dance at Hale Center Theatre
  5. Sound designer, technician and accompanist: Provided sound effects and live piano accompaniment for plays and musicals at Unicorn Children's Theatre
  6. Lifeguard and swim instructor: Utah State University
  7. Sound designer and technician: Utah Festival Opera


Misha Tchoupakov, Ballet, School of Dance
Misha Tchoupakov
  1. Ballet dancer
  2. Ballet teacher

“I was trained from 10 years old as a professional ballet dancer. I had many different places I performed these jobs, but I was lucky enough to only work in the field of ballet.”
Lindsay Bierman, Chancellor
Lindsay Bierman
  1. Sales Associate, Abercrombie & Fitch (in the 1980s, when it was super preppy, before the brand went all Bruce Weber and shirtless)
  2. Intern, Sotheby’s Georgetown
  3. Intern, National Gallery of Art, East Wing (I manned the front desk, and found myself explaining many of the works on exhibit)
  4. Intern, Capitol Hill (for a bipartisan congressional coalition, if you really want to know!)
  5. Waiter at a fancy Italian restaurant (power-lunching business women always left me the best tips!)
  6. Sales Associate, FAO Schwarz (perhaps my LEAST favorite job ever; studied for exams while listening to a talking bear all weekend)
  7. Paralegal, Proskauer Rose (processed mountains of paperwork for iconic law firm in NYC)



by Hannah Callaway

August 16, 2016