CONTROLLER, SCHLUTER SYSTEMS LP Hometown: Peru, New York
Education: MA in Accounting, SUNY Oswego
Community Involvement: Board Member Clinton Community College Foundation, Former Treasurer Adirondack Young Professionals
As an accountant, I, and my collegues, love things to balance- that is why most of us go into this profession,” explained Erin Duprey. I try to carry that balance over into my personal life as well. I cannot allow work to force me to neglect time with my family and friends but I also can’t forget that my job is a privilege and it helps me provide for those loved ones. I think this approach has helped shape me the most.”
Citing attitude as the single most important characteristic for success, Erin believes in valuing every job a young person holds along the way to their dream job and learning everything they can from the people around them. In addition, networking with these same people can allow a young professional to accumulate valuable business references.
Erin’s first job after high school graduation was working in the warehouse of a local manufacturing facility, a position she kept during her college breaks. When she graduated from college, she worked as a school district tax collector, went on to do medical billing at a nursing home and eventually was hired by a local public accounting firm. All of these jobs offered her a chance to learn different areas of business that she was able to employ in her first job at Schluter Systems as its Accounting Manager. She is now in her dream job at Schluter, and feels “blessed” to be a part of the large and growing company. In addition, she is also an adjunct professor at Clinton Community College.
How do you contribute to the culture of your company?
Schluter Systems strives to be innovative and to create a work environment that is global in scope. Our team in the U.S. works closely with our European and Canadian companies in all aspects of business. It is exciting to work for a company that offers its employees a platform to implement ideas that promote global change.
What important lesson have you learned in your career?
Admitting mistakes. I think it is hard for anyone to admit they fall below perfect but it is important to know that employers do not expect perfection. We all make mistakes. It is how we handle them that allows us to grow within our positions and ourselves.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Disconnecting from your job, even briefly, is key. We are so used to being instantly connected to those around us, that tends to blend the line for many of us between work life and home life. I try to not bring work home or on vacation although I am guilty of checking my email at home and doing the occasional Saturday workday.
What can the North Country do to make this region more appealing to a younger generation?
Affordable housing for young professionals. Our generation is marrying later, starting families later and many come into the workforce with significant student loan debt. This leads to a challenge for single-in- come individuals — new to the workplace and carrying debt — to find an affordable place to live. We want to be independent but we find our- selves faced with living with multiple roommates or back with family.
Write a note to your younger self….
Be patient. You may not get your dream job right away. In fact, you may leave college unemployed, in debt and have to move back in with your parents. See the opportunity here, not the disappointment. At that time in your life you will be unsure of where you want to be and what you want to do, so take time to figure it out. Get a job to start paying off your debt and work hard while you look for that dream job. It will take time and there may be a couple of different jobs along the way but you will find your niche, and it just might be here in the North Country.