Meet Jess


Jess Lechtenberg is an Augustana College (Rock Island, IL) Senior ready to launch her career as a Qualitative Researcher, ideally in the Healthcare industry. Jess is a student athlete who majored in Sociology and Public Health with a minor in Non-Profit leadership. Her current GPA is 3.95. NBD.

We interviewed Jess to learn more about the greatest lesson she learned in college, what she hopes her future employer will know about her, and her favorite self-care routine when the going gets tough.

How old are you?

Where were you raised?
Rural northeast Iowa.

What inspired you to go to Augustana College?
Augie seemed like the perfect fit for me because every person I met seemed so genuinely happy. The students I met on visit days had a variety of different majors, but each person was passionate about the work they were doing. The atmosphere felt right, and I knew I had found a great place to learn.

What is the greatest lesson you learned in college?
It’s okay to ask for help! I have helped save lives as a community outreach intern, presented research internationally, and I’ve made major strides in my professional development. The greatest lesson I’ve learned in college is that nobody gets anywhere alone. Asking for help allows us to move forward faster and it gets us to move forward together.

What impact do you hope to make in the world?
I want to do my part to make a positive change. I want the people I interact with to leave a conversation with me feeling more motivated and inspired than they started. I’ve accomplished so much already thanks to the amazing women who have taken the lead before me, and I hope to do the same for the next generation.

What do you wish your future employer knew about you?
I wish my future employer knew I was ready to dive in to the working world. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree, I sometimes feel intimidated by all of the successful professionals who have more education and years of experience. I feel like I am in a great space to work right alongside these amazing professionals, and if given the chance to prove my worth to a company, I would exceed expectations.

I put my entire heart into every task I face, and I love taking on new challenges. Even though it’s intimidating to be in the same job pool as people with more years of work experience, these are the same people that motivate me--especially the successful and professional women who are pushing forward in work environments that have been traditionally male-dominated. I want to work alongside both powerful men and women and bring fresh ideas to the table from an early career perspective. My energy is there and I am ready to get started!

Okay, Jess. It’s time to make the ask. How can others help you launch successfully into your career?
I’m actively searching for a job! I’m hoping to relocate to the Seattle area, and I have previous work experience in qualitative research. I’m open to any new opportunities that promote a positive and go-getter company atmosphere!

And finally, we asked Jess to answer these three questions.

My favorite self-care routine is..
Long distance running! I use running as a way to reflect and to experience new places. I always feel better after going for a scenic run.

The last book I read was ….
We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy by Yael Kohen is a great read that gives the history of American women making a name for themselves in stand-up comedy. It is told through countless interviews with the comedians, directors, writers, and stage managers who witnessed major cultural shifts.

My best advice for someone interested in mentoring college students today….
Don’t doubt yourself! As a current college student, I am constantly inspired by the accomplishments and hard work of my mentor. I feel like I get to share in on her success every time she takes another step forward. It is so inspiring to see what someone else is able to accomplish, and all of the little setbacks that might be slowing you down just make you seem more human. Sharing your struggles, challenges, and setbacks shouldn’t cause you to doubt your overall goals and work that you do--mentees want to hear about it because it shows we can be successful despite slower moving times!

If you’d like to connect with Jess, you can reach her on LinkedIn or email her directly at