Recognition and opportunity are fundamental values of Cambus. Leading up to International Women’s Day, several leaders were asked how working at Cambus helps develop their leadership skills and what they enjoy most about their roles. Meet some of the women that keep campus moving and are essential to providing a safe, reliable service to the campus community.
"CAMBUS strives for an organization that is vibrant, smart, inclusive, and responsive to the needs of our employees and customers. Women in leadership roles is essential and fundamental to our efforts." – Brian McClatchey, CAMBUS Manager
Andie L. | Dispatcher, April 2018 - current
(hired May 2017)
“Working at Cambus has been a great experience [at University of Iowa] because it has allowed me to meet so many amazing people. I really like the rewards and challenges of dispatching and being able to help out when I can. Working as a dispatcher has challenged me to work through stressful situations, developed my problem solving and multitasking skills, and given me experience working as a team with other support members.
“Don’t hesitate to talk to people, ask questions, and apply [for leadership positions]! I was super nervous when I applied for a dispatcher position, but it is a great opportunity to develop your leadership skills and it looks great on a resume too.”
Cassidy S. | Personnel Supervisor, April 2018 - current
Student Mechanic, August 2017 - April 2018 (hired June 2016)
“This position has furthered my development as a leader by teaching me the importance of delegation. Putting your trust in others and allowing others to help goes a long way in an organization. I most enjoy being the first person to introduce new drivers to CAMBUS. This is an organization that I, and many others, are extremely proud to work for. Being the first person new drivers interact with is special because it can set the tone for the rest of their experience with us.”
On advice for those who are interested in pursuing leadership opportunities Cassidy says, “Do not be afraid to ask for guidance, learn from those who have gone before you. And be confident in your own abilities as a leader… I used to be petrified of failure, but this position has taught me to reconstruct the way I approach it and learn from my mistakes. This skill makes me a more effective leader because it shows that I am adaptable and can grow with an organization’s needs.”
Jackie S. | Student Mechanic, May 2016 – current
(hired September 2015)
“I have been able to develop leadership skills [as a student mechanic] by leading teams of drivers in the nightly clean-up process and make many friendships during this time. As a mechanic, it is never guaranteed that a bus will return to the Barn in the same shape it left. Sometimes buses break down on route and I go out and figure how to either fix the problem or get the bus back to the barn. Being flexible is a big part of being a student mechanic."
Jackie noted that women might be reluctant to apply for jobs and leadership roles in traditionally male fields and offered this advice, “I say go for it. I want more women to apply to be student mechanics because we do play a vital role in the culture of the workplace. Never in my life would I have thought I would drive a bus nevertheless be a mechanic. I have learned many skills, made many friends, and had many experiences that have contributed to the person I am today.”
Jordan C. | Training Supervisor, October 2018 - current
Trainer, March 2018 - October 2018 (hired May 2017)
“Becoming a trainer and supervisor has helped me become more assertive and vocal of what I think is right and things that I want. It has helped me to admit my mistakes and helped me understand that it really takes a village to run an organization…I'm excited to come into work every day, even if it is between my classes, because I get to help people and interact with coworkers that I truly enjoy being around. Additionally, it has introduced me to some incredibly strong women who have inspired me to be better in my everyday life.”
On the topic of leadership Jordan said, “Go for any leadership opportunity that is offered to you… Stand your ground and keep your head up to show those who have, or continue to, doubt you that you are capable and you were meant to be where you are.” and added” Every woman can be a leader, they just need to be given the chance.”
Megan F. | Scheduling & Personnel Assistant, April 2018 - current
(hired May 2017)
“I strive to be a supportive leader and show that we are all in it together and that employees can turn to me if they ever need help… To the ladies that are worried about not being taken seriously, I say ‘You can do it!’ Anyone can be a leader.”
Discussing the overlap between her work and academics Megan said, “I'm in the doctorate of pharmacy program in the College of Pharmacy here at Iowa. As I learn about counseling patients about their health care regimen, I find a lot of overlap with what I have learned at Cambus about being a supporter. You have to be with the patient through a journey; taking small easy steps helping them when they stumble rather than pushing them off the cliff and yelling ‘fly’ at them.”
Melissa M. | Scheduling Supervisor, April 2018 - current
Trainer, October 2017 to April 2018 (hired May 2016)
“Being a leader at CAMBUS has helped me become more confident in making decisions, while I have also learned the value of changing a decision and how to use discretion. I have learned that not every situation is black and white, and to approach each situation with an open mind. I have the chance to meet every single employee and trainee, so I can put a name with each face that works here. That is often not possible in other workplaces or in other roles. I get to be involved in day-to-day operations and it has really opened my eyes to just how much goes into running CAMBUS.”
Melissa offered this advice to those interested in leadership roles. “For any woman that is interested in a leadership position, I would highly recommend to start observing current leaders now. Makes notes about what the current leadership is doing well and what you want to change so that you already have ideas to present during an interview. Also, do not be scared to have conversations with those leaders. Showing interest is the first step to putting your name out there and you can use whatever they tell to help develop another idea you may have.”
Shania S. | Trainer, July 2018 – current
(hired February 2016)
“I really enjoy the creative opportunities that come with the trainer role. Whether it be making media resources for our drivers and trainees or simply finding new ways to explain how to do a turn or explain a procedure, the position always challenges my creativity and gives me opportunities to flourish.
“I’ve learned how to collaborate and discuss ideas to make them better. I think a big part of leadership is bringing people onto projects that you think will help make the project better. Some of my most productive days are when I work with my fellow trainers on projects. It always seems to go by faster and smoother when there are two brains working. Sometimes coming to work is the best part of my day. After a long day of class, coming to work is a nice break.”
Cambus employs on average 160 student employees. Approximately a quarter of those student employees assume additional responsibilities in support staff or supervisor roles. In addition to driving, support and supervisor staff perform or oversee vital function of operations including bus maintenance, daily operations, hiring, scheduling, and training. Highlighting and supporting the women that fill leadership roles is just one way Cambus is committed to continue building a culture of recognition and inclusion.
CAMBUS is the University of Iowa’s student operated, no fare public transit system that provides fixed-route service throughout campus and demand-response paratransit services for qualifying persons. CAMBUS works in collaboration with other Parking and Transportation Department units to provide and support access and mobility for students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors. For more information about our services visit https://transportation.uiowa.edu/cambus or call (319) 335-8633.