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Jessica (Blatchley) Raboin ‘15 found that community at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul was key to her personal and professional development. Raboin, a double major in non-profit administration with a ministry emphasis and Bible, works at The Salvation Army Northern Division in Volunteer Relations. 

Raboin chose UNW because of family ties and she wanted to be in faith based education. For her, the elements of community at UNW was vital. She describes herself as a somewhat naïve student who grew through meeting others who had a diversity of engagement, interest, experience and beliefs. Today, this experience is important to her people-focused vocation in Volunteer Relations. 

Raboin (left) poses with volunteers and PK the Minnesota United mascot at a coat collection event. Photo submitted.

Raboin actively participated in the UNW community. She was a Resident Assistant, choir member, participated in intramural volleyball and was an orientation leader. As a RA, building community was foremost:

“My goal was to make them [students] feel included and if they wanted to get involved there was an opportunity to do that.” 

Jessica Raboin

If Raboin were to recommend UNW she would focus on classes and community. She appreciates how “the classes are designed with the students in mind.” One of her favorite classes was Principles of Biblical Interpretation because it gave her practical tools to study her Bible. She also believes that UNW gives many opportunities to belong, a safe place to grow and a place be launched.

Today, Raboin works with coordinating volunteers for The Salvation Army Northern Division. Her busiest season is the holidays when she works to coordinate and troubleshoot the Red Kettle campaign for the seven Salvation Army precincts across the Twin Cities metro.

Raboin and her husband Andrew enjoying their bell ringing date. Photo submitted.

Raboin’s advice to current students is simple:

  • Get involved: don’t be afraid to do something you’ve never done. 
  • Be encouraged to do more internships.
  • Use your network to find internships: ask your friends what they have done. 

Raboin found an internship at The Salvation Army through a friend who had also completed an internship there. That internship eventually led to the job she holds today. She encourages current UNW students to connect with their networks and find their own success story.