Amy Wolak Jowers
Amy works as the Scheduler for Governor Tim Pawlenty.
Please provide a brief description of your current position and what your work entails.
As the Governor's scheduler, I manage his official state business calendar. This involves weekly reviews of incoming invitations with the Governor and staff, providing a timely response to each request, arranging in-and out-of-state travel and communicating event details to security. The Governor receives dozens of invitations a week, so it is important to stay current with requests and be prepared to adapt to unexpected state business that may change the daily schedule.
How did you become interested in working for the Governor's Office? What other experiences led up to it?
The majority of my career has been in politics, including 14 years as staffer to former Congressman Vin Weber and earning a Master's degree in National Security Studies at Georgetown University. When my husband and I moved to Minnesota in 2007, I worked for several businesses, but learned of the opening for the Governor's scheduler, applied for it, and was hired in August 2008. Government work has always been rewarding for me as it directly shapes our society. Everyone has been influenced by a state or federal law, and I want to help make that effect as positive as possible. My first political action - joining Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) in 1973 - was to fight for the protection of the unborn. In 1981, I interned in Congressman Weber's Washington, D.C. office and had an incredible, first-hand look at how federal government operates. I did low-level work (opening mail, answering phones, running errands) but I could see how important it was that different voices and views were involved in the final legislative product. It may be a slow process at times, but it is the best for our society.
What skills are important for a person in your field?
I handle a large amount of detail and information that must efficiently be managed, communicated and responded to, so organization is central to my success. Being a team player and willing communicator is important as there are so many people who rely on the Governor's scheduling information to do their job well. In addition, I find it rewarding when I can convey to those inviting the Governor for an event that their effort and work is noticed and appreciated.
What activities/resources did you utilize at CSB/SJU to prepare yourself for your career?
The government internship in Washington, D.C. was key to my job offer with Congressman Weber after graduation. On campus I had the opportunity to join causes, such as Amnesty International, where I could learn and actively support my beliefs. Most important to me, I had the vision to leave Minnesota and start a career in a new state because I was able to work and communicate with strong women role models, such as S. Marie Weiss in Clemens Library and S. Mary Anthony in Oblate services. They valued their contribution to community and supported my interest in being involved. I learned to greatly appreciate the religious faith I saw them practice every day.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in your career? How can they learn more?
I view politics as a level playing field for women; you don't need power or money or access to have the opportunity to be in politics, you just have to be willing to be active. Change can happen quickly in politics; you can often benefit unexpectedly and in a more rapid way than in a normal business environment. My two-month summer internship for Congressman Weber, during which I answered phones - ran errands - filed papers, led to a job offer in 1983. I encourage students to stay curious, keep learning and be interested in society.