Fort Campbell, Kentucky (March 17, 2022) – As a kid, how did you answer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Now imagine that, against the odds and after interruptions beyond your control, you achieve your dream. That is the story of military spouse and Fort Campbell Cultural Resources Archeologist, Nichole Sorensen-Mutchie.
Nichole knew at an early age that she wanted to make a career of actively finding history and discovering new things. She pursued her passion via her education in the form of an undergraduate and graduate degree in her field, and accepting every opportunity that came across her path along the way. While in school, she participated in a student digging expedition that required a lot of research and writing reports. She volunteered to help a nursing home archive its old photos and records in advance of a huge landmark celebration. She pitched projects to local museums, including living history events.
Everything was on track, and then she found herself in the uniquely challenging position as a military spouse. How would she keep her Indiana Jones-inspired dreams alive while moving often, and with no say in choosing the next destination? During the years where family obligations were prioritized by her military family, Nichole volunteered at museums and built a network of like-minded individuals who are passionate about preserving history. Some of those connections are still inspiring her and influencing her career today.
Nichole encourages military spouses to engage in volunteer opportunities to gain new skills when working is not possible. She recommends looking for ways to improve your knowledge, including workshops, community talks, online events, and networking opportunities. Get to know yourself, listen to your inner voice, try something new, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t sell yourself short!
Nichole found her dream job in an unlikely place — Fort Campbell, Ky. She learned about an open Archeologist position on post at the base. Federal employment can be challenging to pursue, so she engaged the services of the ACS career support program, which is now the Fort Campbell Spouse Employment Center.
Her career counselor supported her with resume writing, navigating USAJobs and the questionnaire, as well as the federal employment interview process. Now, her passion and opportunity are aligned, and she is sharing the history of the people that lived on this land, covering 106,000 acres over 13,000 years. Nichole says she “knows a little bit about a lot of things and is always learning.”
We all have a little bit of Indiana Jones’ thirst for adventure. Let Nichole’s story inspire you to keep chasing your professional dreams!
About this blog series: We set out to create a blog series to honor Women’s History Month and highlight remarkable contributions made by women in the Fort Campbell, Ky., area. It became clear early in our research that women in this community are forging new paths and making history day by day, and individuals who share their stories can motivate others to do the same. Our blog series focuses on inspiring women who let their light shine and uplift the next generation of female leaders. You can also learn more about the Digital Works program by heading to www.digitalworksjobs.org
Click on the article below to read the first blog in the Digital Works Women’s History Month blog series!
Fort Campbell Spouse Employment Center
About the Author: Melissa Anderson is the new Facilitator and Development Coordinator for the Digital Works (a Connected Nation Initiative) Fort Campbell location, bringing more than 17 years employment and volunteer experience with remote work environments, training, and development. In addition to being an active-duty Army spouse, she has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior and a master’s degree in Training & Development. She enjoys everything associated with books, reading, and learning and she is passionate about supporting the military family community.