Kimberly Gleiser, Community Engagement Manager at the Hospice of Davidson County, spoke to the Introduction to Professional Development and Senior Seminar course students on Oct. 10 about her current job and what it’s been like navigating through life post graduation.

Gleiser graduated from Western Carolina University in 2016 with a major in communication and a concentration in public relations.

Gleiser chose communication because her “one goal in life is to help as many people as I possibly can, even if that is with just sharing a smile. Communication allows me to not only help people but allows me to be creative, which is something that is also near and dear to my heart,” said Gleiser.

After graduation, Gleiser was unsure what she wanted to do but continued working at an Old Navy store, where she received a promotion to Product and Marketing Specialist.

After working night hours, getting products off trucks, and setting up the store for sales, she began looking for jobs, more specifically in public relations. Soon after, she found a position with the guest relations team at the Levine Cancer Center in Charlotte. 

At the center, her position involved patients telling her things they wouldn’t tell nurses or doctors. She found much fulfillment while working with these patients at the center, and according to Gleiser, it was where she found out that she belonged working in health care.

Gleiser started at the Hospice of Davidson County this March and is “really enjoying this position, reconnecting with my hometown and using what she learned while at Western Carolina University and Levine Cancer Center,” said Gleiser. 

Located in Lexington, N.C., the Hospice of Davidson County is a non-profit hospice best known for its holistic approach to care (involving mind, body, and spirit). According to Gleiser, they have never turned away a patient based on inability to pay and ensure that their residents receive the best quality of life at the end of their life.

In Gleiser’s role at the hospice, she manages social media accounts, reads through press releases, organizes fundraising events and community education opportunities, attends chamber of commerce meetings, and participates in community events.

At the center, she has learned the best tools to get the information out to the hospice’s target audience to be the hospice’s website and Facebook, and she creates content such as “Monday mythbusters.”

Gleiser is currently preparing for one of the hospice’s main and most profitable events, which is their annual Ride for Angels Day, which will take place next July. Another Gleiser is preparing for is a community partner celebration and the Hospice Sabbath.

For the Hospice Sabbath, Gleiser is responsible for creating a video for places of worship to watch. This video will include words from the hospice’s chaplain, a slide showing how to donate to the hospice, and other supplemental video footage.

Towards the end of her visit, Gleiser assured the students that they don’t have to have everything figured out. According to Gleiser, students should look into what they are passionate about and be patient with themselves when finding a job.

It’s also important to “appreciate and enjoy these classes you are in now and talk to professors and create relationships, ” said Gleiser.