FCS Career Profiles: Jean Hanson Knaak, PhD, CFCS
President, Convergent Systems, Inc. St. Paul, MN
Often the dynamics of one's career are described, not as one career, but as six or seven careers. Though professionals in family and consumer sciences (FCS) have a strong identifiable background, steps on the career ladder and, therefore, position titles, may each be different.
Jean Hanson Knaak has many rungs on her ladder, which is supported by FCS and education. Her rungs include a position as an area vocational center director for 13 school districts and as a home economics and occupational childcare teacher prior to completing her doctorate. The next rung was with Convergent Systems, a private company, funded as an education/training and computer software company by Control Data. After one year, she and her husband purchased the company and Jean became President. They managed vocational education and training contracts in Jamaica, Honduras, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and China over 10 plus years as well as educational and computer-based training contracts in the United States.
In 1984, a nanny placement agency called Nanny Professionals and a security guard and investigation company were developed. The nanny agency has become the oldest in the metropolitan Minneapolis-St Paul area. Its staff includes certified FCS professionals who provide placements for nannies locally and throughout the U. S., professional sitter services, nannies for newborns, and home companion care for the elderly.
Jean's background in FCS provides a skill set that is applicable to many roles in business and industry. A major skill is the ability to do many things at one time, which goes back to very early FCS training. Recently, many other fields seem to have discovered multi-tasking as depicted in the recent issue of Time Magazine (March 19, 2006), which featured the "multi-tasking generation" and their "digital juggling. …