Teresa Lubbers

Teresa Lubbers

Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education


Indiana Commission for Higher Education


Don't look around wondering whether you're better or worse than the next person because it's not about that-it's about what you want to do.

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
Went to college to become a teacher
Worked in city government during college which made me realize I wanted to make a difference on the policy side of education
Worked on a successful political campaign and ended up in Washington, DC
Developed a relationship with a US Senator who became a close friend and mentor that inspired me to continue a career in politics/government
Went back to school to pursue my Master in Public Administration (MPA)
Started a public relations (PR) firm
Ran for state senate and won
Offered the opportunity to be the Commissioner for Higher Education in Indiana
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
Warren Central High School
undergrad
Bachelor
English
Indiana University-Bloomington
graduate
Graduate
Public Administration
Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government
Career

Career

Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education

I lead the state agency that coordinates the system for higher education in Indiana.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Education
Education
Government
Government
Accomplishing Goals
Accomplishing Goals

Day to Day

No one day is identical to the next, but most days incorporate communicating with internal and external stakeholders such as colleges, policymakers, foundations and employers. Our agency operates on a strategic plan focused on increasing educational attainment levels. My daily activities focus on that goal.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Because I worked in several positions that were in fields related to what I wanted to accomplish, I was able to learn many skills that contributed to my position today, including: verbal/communications and writing; teamwork; passion; commitment to a cause and being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Get a mentor! Someone who is willing to invest time with you, push you, coach you and be honest with you. Get work experience in a field related to what you want to do to start building your skill level. Seek out public sector opportunities that develop leadership skills and build on your passions. Work extremely hard and opportunities will present themselves--- but you must be prepared.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
English
graduate
Graduate
Public Administration
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"People always told me that you learn from your successes, leading me to be reluctant to take risks or to understand that you also learn from setbacks. "

You learn just as much - if not more - from your setbacks in life, so don't be afraid to take risks and don't be afraid to fail. In high school I ran for student body president and lost. As a result of this failure, I didn't run for office again until I was 40. I came to realize that I'd rather try and come up short than not try at all. I also wanted to be a good role model for my daughters about persistence and thoughtful risk-taking.

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation College Student
First-Generation College Student

I sought out mentors who helped encourage and coach me so that I could continue to grow personally and professionally. These relationships are what created the experiences that led to my career path.