Prioritizing Values

 Amy Blankenship BCOMP '03

amy blankenship bcomp '03There are pivotal moments that can change a person s life forever. For Amy Blankenship BCOMP 03, one such moment came when a company she worked for asked her and other employees to complete their office hours with their lights off so that they could save on electricity costs. We weren't working in the dark because we wanted to save the planet or create a better world, says Blankenship. We were working in the dark to put money in shareholders pockets, and it was really disheartening to see the world in that way. Working as an outside sales representative, Blankenship says her job became increasingly difficult as she was asked repeatedly to consider the corporation over customers.

Encouraged by her husband, Blankenship enrolled in the Bluffton Cohort-based Organizational Management Program (BCOMP), which was offered at Northwest State Community College, near her home in Archbold, Ohio. She had previously earned an associate degree in marketing from Northwest State. The more time she spent in class, the more restless she grew on the job. I began looking at my work, at the world and at the choices I had made, says Blankenship. My Bluffton experience was very fitting with who I was, and I realized I could no longer continue to be where I was. She left in search of an opportunity that would align with her values.

Blankenship spent the next eight months completing her Bluffton degree. She relished the Bluffton classes she was participating in and the people she came to know. Taking classes such as Living in a Global Community and Faith and Community made me realize that I couldn't change the world by myself, says Blankenship. But, I could change my attitude and the group of people around me. If I can show people grace, love and compassion, they can, in turn, hopefully show others the same.

In addition to wanting to work for a company whose mission she believed in, Blankenship wanted a position that would allow her children Hanna, 11, and Noah, 7 to be a priority. She was hired as a sales assistant for Sauder Manufacturing, eventually taking a sales support role at home for two independent Sauder sales representatives. Sauder was a revelation and a huge reversal, says Blankenship. The company had a statement of values. They wanted to care for the environment, and show respect and tolerance for all people. To have a mission statement on paper placed in front of me, where I could see it every day what a huge change!

Her job wasn't the only change Blankenship experience during her time at Bluffton. The institution played an important role in her faith journey. My husband and I had grown up in Christian homes, but God was not at the center of our lives, she says. Bluffton was a springboard for me, deepening my faith and strengthening my commitment. I really do think it was a God-thing that I went to Bluffton. Today, Blankenship and her family are active in their church St. Martin's Lutheran Church where she and her husband are Luther League leaders, working with a senior high youth group. They also participate in the Northwest Ohio Emmaus and Chrysalis communities, three-day spiritual retreats that focus on leadership building within the church.

It's been a journey, says Blankenship of her time at Bluffton, and God has been a big part of it, calling me to do different things at different points. Bluffton was the right place at the right time for me.