New Volunteer Doubles College Guidance Staff

Sebastian Granizo, Photography Editor

Volunteer Susanne Mueller made her way to the Benedict’s community after working for several successful companies, including one that she created from scratch. Throughout all these working experiences, something Ms. Mueller has learned about herself, was that she loved to help others. One of her favorite things to do at work, was sitting down with people and helping them understand something they didn’t understand before.  

“It’s fulfilling when someone gets something and moves on,” Ms. Mueller said.

Now, Ms. Mueller will be volunteering here for the rest of the 2016-2017 academic year. She will be working alongside the Dean of Seniors and College Placement Didier Jean-Baptiste, helping out the seniors with their college process.

Ms. Mueller didn’t always live in the United States. She was born in Duisburg, Germany and had lived there until she was seven. Her father worked for an international company and got relocated to the United States for four years and her family moved to Long Island, New York. After four years had passed, the Mueller family decided to stay in the United States, because of how wonderful they found it.

Living in the United States offered many opportunities for Ms. Mueller. She attended Smith College to major in History and Government and then Northwestern University to get a Masters in Business Administration .

Her very first job was at Bloomingdale’s, where she worked as an assistant manager. After she earned her MBA, she worked for the German company BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world. Here she worked in the marketing and sales side of the business for 16 years. She also worked for a Swiss chemical company, called Lonza. Here she worked for three years and took on the same role she had in her previous job.

After 19 years, Ms. Mueller felt like opening a business of her own. She wished to open a home healthcare business, however she didn’t know where to start. Ms. Mueller had to accomplish a tremendous amount of research that took about six months. Throughout her research, she had to find out several aspects of her future business, such as who she will hire, where will her office be located, and even find information about the money analysis.

“The more I researched it, the more it made sense,” Ms. Mueller said.

Her business, BrightStar Healthcare, was eventually opened in 2009. Despite its success, it put many responsibilities upon Ms. Mueller.  She had to handle the payrolls, complete schedules, and take care of the insurance. After six years, she wanted a change. She eventually decided to sell her business and pursue a different career- this time in education.

Ms. Mueller then enrolled at Montclair State University for a Masters of Art and Education in Social Studies and Special Education.

While looking for a job with experience in education, Ms. Mueller saw the 60 Minutes piece on television. She decided to call the school to see about volunteering here.

“The school was very open to me when I called,” Ms. Mueller said.

Now she is having a great time volunteering in Saint Benedict’s Prep. Ms. Mueller enjoys learning about the students and helping them with their college process. One thing she noticed about the students here is that they are extremely motivated to get this college process done.

“The students have a lot of discipline for 17 year olds,” Ms. Mueller said.

Ms. Mueller will  look to join several activities around the school, such as Drama Club or Model United Nations. So far her experiences here have all been positive, except for one.

“I really do not enjoy waking up at 5 in the morning every day.”