East Bank Senior B&G Worker Yared Tadesse knows a good thing when he sees it. He started working in FM as a student worker, but when the department was hiring full-time staff in 2005 he saw an opportunity to pay for his education.
“(Working at) the University is a great opportunity to grow,” said Tadesse. “If you stay and work hard, you can improve your life and get paid at the same time.”
By taking advantage of the Regent’s Scholarship, Tadesse has earned his degree in Chemistry and is nearly finished with a second degree in medical technology. He hopes to eventually finish a degree in pharmacy, as well.
Born in Addis, Ethiopia, before his native Eritrea had regained its independence, Tadesse left Africa when he was 18 with a 9th grade education. By the time he was 20 he had gotten his GED and started a family. He met his wife Lichiya, who’s also from Eritrea, through one of his cousins.
The couple has three daughters -- Saron (9), Milana (7) and Bitanya (4). Tadesse teaches the girls the Eritrean language and plans to take them to visit Eritrea in the future to learn their culture and see where their parents came from. He believes the best gift you can give your kids is an education and will do everything he can to provide his daughters with a better one than he had growing up.
An avid soccer player, Tadesse competed for the Minnesota team in the North American Eritrean Soccer Tournament in 2003 (finals) and 2005 (quarterfinals). He no longer plays soccer competitively due to a knee injury.
Tadesse worked in convenience stores when he first arrived in the U.S., then began cleaning private offices. He thinks that the constantly changing dynamics of his previous work experiences helped prepare him for a similar situation at the U. As a project specialist, he works with different people on different tasks every day. He enjoys the challenge of deciphering customers’ needs and preferences, and getting a project done to their liking.
This past June, Tadesse was awarded the University of Minnesota President’s Award for outstanding service. The award honors active or retired faculty or staff members who have gone well beyond their regular duties and demonstrated an unusual commitment to the University community. Nominated by his supervisor Brian Flaherty, and supported by letters from two other supervisors Tadesse was recognized for his effective communication, emergency response, solid technical skills, discipline and leadership skills.
“His calm, confident, poised disposition and effective communication nearly always makes even concerned customers contented,” wrote Flaherty in his recommendation letter. “That same demeanor contributes to his ability to bring out the best in his coworkers.”
Tadesse sets a great example by taking advantage of the opportunities at the U for personal and professional development. He hopes to graduate with his first two degrees in two years and then pursue another when his children get older.