K-State senior wins contest to turn dream into reality

Becky Roeder, senior in speech pathology and Spanish, whose dream has been to work with elephants in Thailand, recently won a contest with DreamJobbing.com to make her dream become a reality. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

Rebecca Roeder, senior in speech pathology and Spanish, has the words “visit Thailand and work with elephants” inscribed on her dream board. Now, that dream is becoming a reality.

Roeder recently won a contest with DreamJobbing.com to travel to Thailand in March, where she will help in the conservation efforts of the endangered Asian elephant.

DreamJobbing is “an opportunity platform that broadcasts one-of-a-kind ‘job’ openings and experiences that anyone can apply for by submitting a video application,” according to its website.

Roeder discovered the DreamJobbing competition while browsing Facebook, where the DreamJobbing website appeared as a suggested post.

Launched Sept. 30, 2014, DreamJobbing was created by three co-founders with the mission to broadcast the world’s coolest jobs and give people the opportunity to do pursue them, co-founder Lisa Hennessy said.

Hennessy is an Emmy-nominated television executive producer who has traveled the world. She explained the concept was created as she and her co-founders have a background doing cool jobs, and they wanted to pay it forward to give others the same opportunity.

To win the contest, Roeder had to campaign for votes. Being from the small town of Frankfort, Kansas, Roeder said the residents were super supportive in helping her win. She wrote an article for the Frankfort newspaper, and her whole high school got involved with the voting.

“I always want traveling to be a huge part of my life, as well as having new experiences and working with my passion for elephant conservation.” – Rebecca Roeder

Roeder said ever since she can remember she has loved elephants. She has always wanted to work with them and has a passion for elephant conservation. Of all the things she will experience yet, Roeder is most looking forward to interacting with the elephants.

“My favorite part of traveling is usually connecting with people, but in this case it will be connecting with the elephants,” Roeder said.

Throughout the two-week long trip, Roeder and the two other winners will visit elephant camps and assist with hands-on care for elephants. They will also help develop businesses to support elephant tourism, according to the DreamJobbing website.

Roeder has no elephant background, but DreamJobbing doesn’t require her to have prior experience.

“I always want traveling to be a huge part of my life, as well as having new experiences and working with my passion for elephant conservation,” Roeder said.

DreamJobbing is centered on the idea of unlocking opportunities. At DreamJobbing, they encourage students to follow their passions and follow their dreams, according to Hennessy.

Roeder said that although she might not directly work with elephants in her career, she has always wanted traveling and elephant conservation to be a part of her life.

“The process of making an effort is helping (the applicant) move in the direction of a career,” Hennessy said. “To be able to have the opportunity to get your foot in the door for a week is a game changer.”

Kathleen Gormley, assistant to the founders at DreamJobbing, said she agrees that she is part of something truly amazing.

“It’s a privilege to be able to help others land their dream jobs,” Gormley said. “To be part of something that is inspiring so many people is amazing.”

Roeder is also anticipating being a part of the DreamJobbing team, as she said she looks to be a DreamJobbing ambassador once she returns from Thailand, to get other people to take the chance to have an opportunity like she has.

Roeder said in her application video, “I know if I were selected, I would do this with such passion and such heart.”

Roeder has been selected and is now the next DreamJobbing winner on their way to an incredible opportunity.

“We’re really proud of Rebecca,” Hennessy said. “She’s an extraordinary applicant and we can’t wait to see what she does with this experience.”