Evangel alumni perspectives: Jason and Jennifer Crowe
Name: Jason and Jennifer Crowe
Graduation Year: 1998 | 1998, 2006
Major: Sports Management | Psychology
Current Position: Director of Human Resources- Talent Acquisition/Employee Relations | Licensed Professional Counselor and stay at home mom
City and State: Springfield, Missouri
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
Jason is currently employed at O’Reilly Auto Parts headquarters in Springfield, MO. He is the director of Human resources for talent acquisition and Employee Relations. Jason leads and directs the company’s Talent Acquisition vision and strategy that includes their O’Reilly Careers brand to ensure O’Reilly Auto Parts has a best in class applicant experience. He is also responsible leading the Employee Relations department for the company. O’Reilly has nearly 80,000 employees (and growing); more than 5,100 retail stores, 27 distribution centers and operates in 47 states.
As a side hobby, Jason is the chief sock officer for Jason Crowe Socks, a personal business he opened in 2016. He is able to use his creative talents and love for style to design and provide customers with business professional and athletic socks. He also can customize socks for businesses who are looking to enhance their brand. During a difficult time of grief, Jason started this business as a creative outlet to honor his late father who died of cancer in 2014. To learn more, visit Jason Crowe Socks on Facebook and follow them on social media.
Jennifer is currently a stay at home mom to her two daughters, Hanna, (age 9) and Jadyn (age 7). Before this, she was serving as a licensed mental health counselor for 7 years at Evangel University’s counseling center. She also was a part-time therapist at a local private practice, and local mental health hospital. Jennifer loved working with college-age adults and helping them navigate through life and faith challenges. She loves to speak and motivate women to discover authenticity and wholeness through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
What is your favorite memory from Evangel?
I have so many favorite memories during my time at EU, but my favorite memory at Evangel is also the most gross! A bunch of guys in our dorm got together and decided we would take any kind of food and liquid we had in our room and put it into an air tight container to see how fast it would mold. Let’s just say we had creatures growing in there after awhile! I am pretty sure that was a toxic plan we still laugh about today and will never do again. I am pretty sure mischief was a part of our fun and time at Evangel too!
My favorite memory from EU has to be meeting our friends. The network and community of friendships literally stood the test of time. Almost 20 years later, we are still friends with people we met during our time at EU. We all came from different areas of the US and to think how we settled in Springfield and how God intertwined our lives together is divine. These friendships have been with us through ups and downs in our lives and it is amazing that it was all because of being at Evangel together.
How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?
My time at Evangel helped develop and confirm my calling to help and work with people. I‘m so thankful that I had professors who invested their time and were dedicated and encouraged me to pursue my calling. There is no better encouragement than having your professors pray over you and prepare you for your calling.
Evangel helped me identify my calling because it was the first experience I had in the field I wanted to pursue. The psychology department prepared me well and the faculty members were not only my teachers, but they became like mentors and truly cared about me. I felt that they wanted to see me develop and excel and helped challenge me in areas that I needed. Also, the chapel services provided many opportunities to discern and solidify my calling as they allowed for many moments in God’s presence.
How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?
I was extremely fortunate to have met my wife at Evangel. My time at Evangel really was instrumental in preparing me for life. The personal relationships with the professors, other students and the chapel services all prepared me for life after Evangel. I’m thankful how Evangel strengthened my knowledge and challenged me in always pursuing a personal relationship with God so I can share my experiences and testimony with others.
Evangel University was where I met my husband and identified my calling/vocation. However, it allowed spiritual and life disciplines to develop in my life even further. I was able to meet God in a more personal way and develop spiritual disciplines, such as prayer and discipleship. I watched faculty members who lived out what they taught and it propelled me to do the same with integrity and passion in my profession. I was able to teach some courses at Evangel University during and after my graduate degree. One of the best life experiences I received was being able to attend a counseling trip to Africa. It was so rich with life perspectives that I still hold dear and gain a world perspective that broadened my knowledge.
What advice would you give current students preparing for the workforce?
My advice would be to always be a perpetual learner. You should never stop learning on the job, in life and especially in your relationship with Christ. Having a positive, upbeat attitude and a willingness to learn, and to be coached are desirable traits. Also, don’t come out of school expecting to make a lot of money. That will come over time with experience and knowledge you’ve gained. Work hard, be a perpetual learner, and have a great attitude. Most importantly, trust God and pray for wisdom and knowledge. Seek Him and know your identity is found in Him and in Him alone.
My advice would be to remain teachable and humble in all things. No matter what ladder or success you attain, you are better still being a servant over a master of anything. Not only is it biblical to have that perspective, but I think God honors humility in the end. We live in a culture that demands instant results, but often times it is in the long patient road of trial and sometimes frustration that God desires for us to learn new and valuable things. Don’t expect to land your dream job overnight or find the perfect job, although that may happen, keep working hard and remaining teachable and trust God that He knows what you need.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
I look for those who have an upbeat, positive attitude and who have a willingness to learn. There’s a lot to someone who demonstrates humbleness and who is coachable. I’d much rather hire someone who is coachable, shows humility, and high character to be on my team than others who come to the table with a lot of skill and no character.
I would look for candidates who display authenticity, humility, and a willingness to learn. So often, our culture minimizes these traits and yet I feel they are essential for true success. To understand authenticity is to understand your identity in Christ and who He has called you to be. It may not look like the next person to you, but if you understand how He has gifted you and how you fit into the body of Christ, it will propel you towards satisfaction and true joy for what He has equipped you to do. You can not do effectively without knowing who you are in Him.