ST. CLOUD -- A woman who is both a Minnesota native and a history buff is WJON's Rush Hour's Rookie of the Week.

Weekly WJON's Rush Hour hosts Chrissy Gaetke and Richard Leguil feature a "Rookie" who has been nominated by a family member, friend or colleague for doing an outstanding job in their new position.

This week, Carie Essig, the new Executive Director of the Stearns History Museum was nominated by her team. Essig took over in her position last month. She says she blames her mother for her love for history.

"When I was a kid we spent most of our summers at Fort Snelling down in the Twin Cities. I'm originally from the Twin Cities. If we had a day off or if we had a weekend we were at a historical site somewhere in the Twin Cities or greater Minnesota."

Essig's mom was a lobbyist so she also spent a lot of time at the state capital learning about the ties between history and government.

After high school, Essig went on to study history at the University of Minnesota. She later continued her education at Northern Illinois University and received her graduate degree in history.

"I've been working in museums ever since. So somewhere either in Minnesota, Chicago area or out in Colorado."

Most recently, Essig worked at the YMCA of the Rockies.

Although Essig is still getting the feel for her new position, she says she's already started to work on some major goals for the Stearns History Museum, including temporarily closing it for renovations.

"We're going to be closed for just another week, which is really awesome, our construction schedule is about a month ahead of schedule. We completely tore out the ceilings in the museum and put in a new fire suppressant system."

When the project is finished, Essig says they'll be able to move existing exhibits and make room for new ones. She says her main goal for right now is getting out in the community and making sure people know about the changes that are happening.

If you're interested in going into a history field, Essig says education is crucial.

"Get your education, it's a competitive market. Being a museum director or a museum curator is kind of a cool thing and it's kind of a niche, not everybody can be one. I would say you have to network and don't be afraid to try new things."

Essig says don't just focus on one position within the field, look at all of your options and take opportunities as they come.

Do you have someone you'd like to nominate for Rush Hour's "Rookie of the Week?" If so, email Chrissy Gaetke, or Richard Leguil,

"Rookie of the Week" airs weekly on Rush Hour, weeknights from 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. only on AM 1240 WJON.

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