COO For Innovative Financial Solutions — Child & Family Studies
Degree: Family Systems Theory
Graduated in: 2003
Explain your career path
Danielle Alspaugh has joined the Innovative Financial Services team as their Chief Operating Officer. As Chief Operating Officer, Danielle will focus on marketing, business development and compliance. Prior to joining the IFS team, Danielle worked at Southeast Missouri State University for almost 10 years and most recently served as Director of Human Resources for SoutheastHEALTH where she worked for nearly six years.
What was your major at southeast and what led you to that?
Danielle was a Human Environmental Studies: Family Systems Theory major (and completed her masters in this as well) I found this major while looking at electives to take in the bulletin. I completed the intro course with Dr. Shelba Branscum and fell in love with her teaching style and the coursework. You never know where those classes will take you.
Why did you choose to attend southeast?
Danielle graduated from Chaffee High School in Chaffee, MO. I knew I was fortunate to have an excellent school close to home. I had taken some college courses in high school on campus and knew this is where I should go. In addition, I wanted to be part of the Southeast Sundancers.
Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?
I was blessed to have many mentors while in school, Carolyn Woodruff (I worked for her in the Admissions Office as a Student worker), Suzanne Vaughn (my Sundancer coach), Dr. Shelba Branscum (Faculty Advisor), Jay Goff (Director of Admissions). I am sure I am missing some, I had a wonderful experience, which led to me working at Southeast for 10 years.
Share your best college memory.
Danielle was a Sundancer when our basketball team made it to the NCAA finals and she met her husband Brock Alspaugh during "Exploring the Universe".
What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?
There are some things that can't be taught, what kind of person you want to be and how hard you work at something. I had another mentor in life say I can teach skill, but I can't teach attitude and work ethic....so true! Decide who you want to be and live this daily. Show up and always give 110%. You don't always have to agree, but you do need to support when a final decision has been made. Raise your hand when a project is offered to you (even with no compensation...trust me that will come later). Say yes even if you want to say no. Have no regrets.
Describe Southeast in three words.
Supportive Open Caring
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
I have too many. I was proud to be the Associate Director of Admissions for Southeast, Director of Human Resources for SoutheastHEALTH and of course now serving alongside my husband as COO of our family business.
How did your education at southeast prepare you for what you are doing today?
Being pushed to try things I never thought I would pursue.
What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
Remember that a degree just opens the door for you, it is up to you to "sell" yourself. Find a way to set yourself apart from others and don't be afraid to brag on yourself. Always smile!
Take a job on campus as a student worker, do a practicum or internship in your field!
What do you wish you had known before graduating and entering the "Real world"?
If you are willing to put in the work, you can really do whatever you want to do. Not many people are willing to do this and we were surprised. We thought everyone wanted to work hard.. Your work ethic will set you apart. Make sure you have one that others envy.