Meet Our Team: Kat Blessis
At UNE Online, students are our top priority and their success is what drives each and every one of us to do what we do. We’d like to share a little bit about the people on our team that are dedicated to making that happen every day.
For the launch of the “Meet Our Team” series, we’ve interviewed Kat Blessis, Enrollment Counselor at UNE Online.
Kat has a passion for helping others recognize and pursue their true passions. And, she’s also an amazing baker.
What do you do at UNE Online?
I’m an Enrollment Counselor for our Graduate Programs in Public Health, which means I help guide prospective students and applicants through our application process. I help them build a strong application, make sure they get all of their application requirements submitted by the various deadlines, and explain the program thoroughly so students truly understand the program they’re applying to and what their degree will mean for them when they graduate.
Once completed, I send their application over to our Admissions Committee. If they’re accepted, I work with the student to get them set up and ready to begin their program, and I introduce them to their dedicated student support specialist.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Granby, CT, which is a very small town in Northern Connecticut, but I’ve been visiting Maine with my family since I was about two.
What’s your favorite dessert?
Ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food. I worked at a bakery for six years and have a huge sweet tooth. So honestly, any dessert is a good dessert.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Blast Pandora, like Summer Hits of the 90’s, to help me wake up and get energized. When I get to the office, I check and respond to email and make my to-do list for the day.
What’s the best professional advice you’ve received?
It was from a TED Talk by Simon Sinek – “People don’t buy what you do, people buy why you do it.” I learned it back at Emerson in a marketing class. It instilled in me that you really should have a purpose for what you do, and it makes me feel like my work here is meaningful.
What’s the last lesson you learned?
Recently I’ve learned that it’s better to break down your goals into smaller more achievable goals. And celebrate your small victories. This has helped me a lot.
On a different note, I also learned how to make Perogies. We had a Russian family Christmas, and my cousin taught us all how to make Perogies. I now have a ton leftover in my freezer.
What’s on your desk?
I just bought a little beanie baby owl which is our unofficial mascot. And then next to it is my rubber ducky with a graduation cap, seltzer, a couple of apples and lots and lots of sticky notes. And a really funny bachelor-themed Holiday card from Hollywood PR where I interned.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Maine?
I’ve only been a full time Maine resident since May, but there are so many places to explore and discover, even just on day trips. There’s always something new to see, or a new restaurant to try. I love the beach, the food and all the cute towns you can visit.
If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
Margherita pizza from Little City Pizza in Simsbury, CT.
What’s your favorite part about what you do here?
There are a lot of things, but I think building relationships with prospective students and applicants is my favorite part. Our students and applicants come from all over the world and all have very unique paths that lead them to apply to UNE for their MPH or GCPH. The applicants I’ve worked with have ranged from stay at home moms who haven’t worked for 15 years, to students who just graduated from undergrad this past year, to people who are already in the middle of their career in Public Health. So it’s really varied.
People who are making a career change and decide to pursue something they’re really passionate about have a special place in my heart. Both my mom and my dad are career changers. My mom was a nurse for 13 years, and then decided to go to law school to become a lawyer. My dad changed paths in the middle of his career to pursue teaching. Now he’s a 5th grade teacher because that’s what he had always been super passionate about.
They both followed their dreams, and I feel like that’s what I help people do.
Stay tuned for more of our team profiles, but in the meantime, click here to learn more about our Graduate Programs in Public Health.