Clark Bossert, budget coordinator for the Division of Student Affairs, is a California native with a love for great food and the outdoors. Drawn to Las Vegas by its dynamic culture, this new face is excited to serve the UNLV community and discover all that the city has to offer.
What about UNLV strikes you as different from other places you have worked or where you went to school?
UNLV strikes me as a very accessible and welcoming place. A few academic and professional environments that I have encountered seem to place a high value on certain social status markers, rather than on the skills and attitude that a person possesses. One of the things that I love most about UNLV is that the university administration has really done a lot to remove the barriers to entry in higher education for students, and I believe the university is structured to truly aid students regardless of financial means or heritage. I love that UNLV has departments like CAEO (Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach) that help high school and non-traditional students set their sights on a college degree, and I love that UNLV is a place where a student is limited in their educational development only by their own desire to learn and achieve.
Tell us about a time in your life when you have been daring.
It was daring for me to pursue my current position. It was uncomfortable waiting so long to accept a position after moving to Las Vegas. I really felt that this was the position that I was the most passionate about, and the only one that would align well with the goals that I am pursuing, but it was a stretch for me to pass up more immediate offers and hold out for what I knew could be an incredible opportunity.
Tell us about an object in your office that has significance for you.
Well my office is pretty sparsely decorated, so I will have to say my sticky notes. Not only do they aid me in keeping track of important tasks, but I use them to write down quotes or brief reflections that I am having on my work, life, and other interests. Life can fly by pretty quickly and I want to remember the feelings and ideas that I am struggling with and excited about in each season.
A few weeks before graduation, during the heat of finals prep, all of the sudden I got sad and realized how much I had loved my undergraduate experience. I loved the culture of higher education, the opportunities that became available through education, and the changes that had taken place in my life by being exposed to new and exciting viewpoints. At that moment, I knew I needed to begin a career, but I immediately set my sights on the next time I would have a chance to get back into a college classroom. I couldn’t ask for more! I work in an industry where I support the mission of helping others achieve a college education, while being able to take classes myself.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Ridgecrest, California. It is a small town that supports a Navy base in Southern California. The arid climate, rugged mountain vistas, and social culture are very similar to Las Vegas. I miss my time spent outdoors the most along with the friends I made growing up.
What inspired you to get into your field?
I have always loved managing money and learning about how businesses develop and sustain competitive advantage. I have always been a good saver and I love dissecting a problem or set of options until I can see the best alternative. For me, business is the exciting intersection of relationships, creative ideas, market theories, and strategy.
What can colleagues on campus do to make your job easier?
Everyone I have interacted with has been great so far! I would say that good communication and a positive attitude can really do a lot to alleviate pressure, diffuse misunderstandings, and foster more productive work environments.
Finish this sentence, if I couldn't work in my current field, I would like to...
It varies from day to day. This is a formative time, and as I am surrounded by a diverse set of friends and coworkers that have achieved remarkable accomplishments in different fields, it inspires me to work harder and dream a little more. Recently I have been thinking about either a future in politics or maybe engineering.
What has been your proudest moment?
Getting hired at UNLV. I went through a longer than expected period of researching, waiting, applying, and interviewing when I came to Las Vegas, but when the offer came for my current position, I was so proud of myself that I had been patient enough to wait for the right job, and that I would now have a great opportunity to use the skills I learned in school.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I’m 6 feet, 5 inches and athletic, but I’m the worst at basketball. Aside from that, I am pretty transparent about who I am so feel free to ask anything you like and get to know me.
Pastime or hobbies?
I love playing any sport or being outside hiking, biking, or skating. I really enjoy reading and I have also been really getting into cooking the past few years. Most of all, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family.
Any tips for success?
Perseverance, honesty, kindness. Pursue the things that you are naturally gifted in and passionate about. Become as educated as you can, apply yourself to your current task, and add as much value as possible. Two quotes I like are:
- “Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.” (John Locke)
- “If you lick the lollipop of mediocrity once, you’ll suck forever.” (Unknown)