August 2020 YP of the Month: Erica Bartsch
Name: Erica Bartsch
Hometown: Iron Ridge, WI
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts in Radio/TV/Film from UW Oshkosh
Describe Yourself in Three Words: Dependable, Creative, Animated
Place of Employment and Position: Transportation Compliance Specialist with Michels Corporation
What do you enjoy the most about your current position?
Within my current role, I am often asked to take on new and different job functions. This allows me to be constantly learning and growing. I am afforded the ability to challenge myself because my team trusts me. The responsibility I have in being adaptable and reliable for my team, fills me with pride.
What is the one thing you would do if you knew you could not fail?
I would rediscover and explore my creative side in grand fashion. I would write and create films that inspire and challenge the status quo. I’d also love to travel the world to tell the stories of people and cultures unlike me. The arts inspire and create change in beautiful ways. What a glorious world to be part of.
How has YPF contributed to your personal and/or professional development?
When I joined YPF I was feeling lost in both my personal and professional journey. YPF created a space for me to step outside of my comfort zone and network with people in our community who were feeling the same way. I had no idea that there were so many wonderful and inspiring people here. Because I took the chance and opened myself up to network with YPF, I now have a collection of women around me who consistently show me the joy and pride that comes with reaching for your goals and achieving what you didn’t even realize is possible.
Who or what is your source of professional inspiration?
After joining YPF, I felt the confidence to join other professional and volunteer groups in our community. The women of Ladies, Wine, & Design each have their own unique personalities and stories but their drive to grow and achieve more is truly inspiring. They build me up every day.
Sara Wild was the first person to truly help me come out of the shell I created around myself. I will forever be grateful for the potential she saw in me and the gentle ways in which she pushes me to achieve greatness. She champions me in ways I didn’t have the courage to do for myself.
I also have a group of women in my corner who aren’t afraid to ask questions and try new things. They stand up for themselves and create paths where before there were only weeds. When they stumble, they get back up with grace and strength that is unparalleled. Watching their personal and professional growth over the last 15 years has been more inspirational than anything I could put into words.
What are some of the professional and volunteer groups you participate in?
I currently volunteer for the Fond du Lac Area Women’s Fund on both the Special Events Committee and the Marketing Committee. I am also a Girl Scout Troop Leader and the PTC President for Theresa Learning Community.
In keeping with YPF’s theme for this year, “Say Yes,” when is a time that you “said yes” that has had an impact on your personal or professional life?
Honestly, in the last few years I have made a consistent effort to “Say Yes” for myself. I opened myself up to all the possibilities that “yes” afforded instead of closing myself off with what I had deemed the “safer no”.
Yes, I can try new things even if it means that I stumble or fail.
Yes, I am capable of taking on that leadership role.
Yes, I am worthy of having dreams and taking steps to achieve them.
Yes, leaping outside of my comfort zone is worth it.
Saying yes impacts every facet of my life. Even though I feel like every yes is only a tiny baby step, these steps have made me feel happier and more fulfilled.
What words of wisdom do you have for other young professionals working in Fond du Lac?
Find a group of people who support you and challenge you and hold onto them, but don’t forget to love and support yourself, too. Let these people remind you of your capabilities so that you never forget how dynamic you are. There is something about you that is beautiful and unique. Find that thing and live vibrantly.