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Meet Rob, Universities Partnership Program Manager


Meet Rob, Universities Partnership Program Manager

Universities Partnership Program Manager

March 1 was Employee Appreciation Day! We are celebrating our team members all month long by sharing their stories. Read more about remote team member Rob Hower, Universities Partnership Program Manager, and why he loves working at New Story.


What is your favorite thing about working here?


My favorite thing about working here is I have a really good foundation of teamwork around me, and good collaboration whichever direction I turn in. If I need someone to pitch in, everyone is right there and ready. It’s a culture of people ready to wear a different hat at any moment.


What keeps you coming to work each day?


The diversity of my job. Not only the people I come into contact with, who are from all different walks of life, culturally and ethnically, but also the diversity of my job tasks every day. There is constant diversity of environments and the work I’m doing.


How do you make an impact on students’ and clients’ lives?


Even though I am not one-to-one, face-to-face with the kids, my role in terms of impact to the students is tertiary: bringing in the individuals who are going to be the right fit for New Story. People ask me what I look for in our staff members, and it’s the passion for our populations. You can see a light go on or they light up when talking about it. Finding those individuals so they are the ones working with our students in our schools, and making individuals aware of what New Story is doing in general. I’m still amazed at people who have one of our locations within five miles of their home and don’t know about us. In my role, I get to help people understand the impact we are having.


Last year, we rolled out our BetterTogether guiding principles. Which one of our values resonates with you most personally and why? (Integrity, Accountable, Collaborative, Inclusive, Supportive)


The one that sticks out to me most is collaborative. Collaborative holds everything around it together, individuals have to operate with integrity – there has to be collaboration, and that brings about accountability. They are all equally important and symbiotic.


What does a “day in the life” look like for your role?


It can vary so much – a typical day, if there’s such a thing, is attending conventions, going to meet with colleges and universities, and making initial contacts within universities. I share with them how New Story can partner with their college and their students. They really are mutually beneficial relationships – it’s exposure for their students to our population and the type of work we do, and then hopefully those individuals like our environment and population and want to become part of New Story. There is just a level of passion that goes to autism and emotional support that drives those individuals coming to work each day.


Can you talk a little bit about your career trajectory and what led you to where you are now?


I started in direct care with behavioral health under a psychology degree. Through many different experiences in behavioral health, I found a way into a special project manager role and then into HR. I always had this desire to find individuals and using a little bit of psychology background to assess if they will be a good fit for an organization. You’re not only filling your company with good people, but also offering someone a job. Recently, I moved into the University Partnership role when it was created. At the time we had limited relationships with colleges and universities because most of the footwork was being done with the schools that had a college campus near them. Many of our schools don’t have the ability to send someone into a college to start building a relationship. I talked about that challenge for the last two years as a corporate recruiter, and now I’m in the role!


What has been your proudest moment or accomplishment in your role?


Thus far, in my first year in the recruiter position, the late spring/early summer blitz. We recognized the number of people we needed to be ready to open for the next year. We came together as a team, we were all on board and accomplished the goal. It was an exceedingly proud number of individuals to recruit, and all of our schools were able to open with the staffing that they needed. That moment was when I really solidified my love for this role.


What is something about you that not many people know?


I’m a father of triplets – two boys and a girl, they are 22 years old and all of them are graduating from college soon!