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Addie Grow '09

Connecting people, supporting growth in the School of Business

Passionate about English literature, Addie (Estes) Grow '09 always knew she wanted to major in English at Whitworth. But she wasn't so sure what she wanted to do with her degree. Believing at the time that teaching was her only career option, Grow remembers being encouraged by her professor, Doug Sugano. "He reassured me there were plenty of other career options to explore, and I didn't have to decide at 20 what I would be doing when I was 30," she says.

Because of Sugano, Grow went on to earn her master's degree in English, for which she taught first-year college students and realized she loved supporting students who are starting to navigate life on their own. Now back at Whitworth, Grow is doing just that as the School of Business' assistant director of internships & external relations, a role centered on helping students to explore their career options.

The following is a Q&A with Grow.

What does your role at Whitworth involve, and what makes it rewarding?

I support and guide students in developing career-related skills, exploring internship and job opportunities, and connecting with prospective employers. Everything I get to do connects people or supports growth (often at the same time), which aligns with two of my top personal values. I'm a people-focused, lifelong learner, so the very nature of my role is rewarding. I also love being challenged, and since industry trends continually shift, I am pushed to pivot and adapt nonstop as I strive to prepare students for their careers.

Why should students apply to internships?

It's like I tell my kids when it comes to trying new foods: "You won't know if you like it until you try it." Sometimes the best result that comes from a student completing an internship is that they find out they hate that kind of work. What a useful insight! Now they can change directions while benefiting from having that internship experience on their résumé. If the internship goes well and it's a good fit, many employers will offer to extend or convert an internship into continued employment. Also, students can potentially complete an internship for academic credit while getting paid at the same time. Doing an internship is an all-around win, win, win situation.

What advice you would offer to a student of any major who wants an internship but isn't sure where to start?

First, come meet with me or someone in the career center to talk about your interests and brainstorm some options – you'd be amazed what kind of unexpected possibilities will come to the surface. Depending on your unique situation, we'll probably encourage you to join a Career Trek, visit a career fair, participate in StartUp Weekend, or begin networking through a specific club on campus. Once you have some direction, we'll help you get a résumé prepared and then we can explore Handshake or LinkedIn together, applying for anything that sounds like a good fit. We may even have some specific internships already in mind that could be great for you, but you'll never know until you set up that first meeting.  

Tell us about your participation in the Whitworth Women's Leadership Network. What do you think it offers to other alumni and students?

Like I said, I'm people-focused and a lifelong learner, so being involved in the Whitworth Women's Leadership Network is a perfect way to deepen my connection with inspiring women who fuel my growth mindset. The WLN has already kick-started several growth spurts in my life. In one series I learned how to set intentional goals, which led to running my first marathon. In another series, I reassessed my professional development goals and recognized that I was ready for more, which led to enrolling in Whitworth's Institute of Leadership, a program I'll start this fall. The WLN meets with purpose, providing connection, inspiration, empathy and practical insights. There's something for everyone.

Three Conversations Starters with Addie Grow:

  1. She and her siblings were the first in their family to graduate from college: "I was a first-generation college kid from the small town of Twisp, Wash., who found a home away from home at Whitworth."
  2. She loves bike touring: "My husband (Nick Grow '09) and I did a three-week cycling trip around Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Cycling became a lifestyle after that. I don't have my own car, so I pedal to and from work instead."
  3. She's a huge fan of the NBA and MMA: "Don't get me started talking about that stuff because I'll never stop."

Students and alumni are invited to check out what the Whitworth Career Center and the Women's Leadership Network has in store for them!