While she was still in high school, Aubrey Arneson saw the potential for a challenging career after witnessing an ultrasound exam for the first time.
“I volunteered at a nursing home in Columbus. At the time, I thought I wanted to be a physical therapist. But when I saw an ultrasound, I fell in love,” Arneson said.
She enrolled in the radiology technology program at Montana State University Billings, landed a job as a CT/X-ray technician at St. Vincent Healthcare and later enrolled in an ultrasound school that St. Vincent offered at the time.
It was a busy time. Arneson estimates that she spent about 80 hours per week at the hospital, splitting her time between working and going to school.
Arneson had expressed an interest in taking on leadership responsibilities. It was a way to make a positive difference for those who worked around her, she said. The manager of the radiology department asked her if she was interested in becoming the clinical supervisor of the CT department.
Arneson was ecstatic about the opportunity. After several promotions, she is now manager of radiology services and supervises about 70 employees.
Arneson said she was motivated to excel at leadership because she once had a supervisor who wasn’t very good. Meanwhile, she is completing a master’s degree in health care administration from Montana State University Billings.
“One of my mentors told me that even if I don’t move up the ladder, I wouldn’t regret it when I get older,” she said. "This allows me to have more opportunities.”
What’s the biggest challenge you face in your job?
There are a lot of “challenging” things in my job, but I like a challenge so it’s a good thing. I think one of the things that I focus the most on is having a positive attitude that I can instill and encourage my employees to also have. Our lives are so unpredictable in the Radiology Department that we can have moments of great stress. So, maintaining a positive attitude can get challenging at times, but when we are all walking around with a big smile it makes these stressful times seem more enjoyable.
What’s the best business advice you have received?
One thing I learned was to not be too proud to accept my own faults. Showing that I am not “perfect” as a leader allows my employees to feel that I am not superior to them or judge them when minor mistakes occur. This allows for trusting and successful working relationships.
Who gave you that advice?
From my mentors, Eric Pollard and Karen Costello.
Here’s what I’d like to do to improve my community:
I have a passion to care for others, whether it be humans or animals. Therefore, I’d love to see continued community partnership among businesses and community members to help create a safe and positive environment for everyone who is here. I feel that I have a part in this by volunteering for CASA of Yellowstone County and for the Share Our Spirit Campaign at St. Vincent.
Outside of work, my biggest passion is: Spending time with my family and friends. I’m so thankful for them all.
Which living person do you most admire?
I most admire Lady Gaga. I admire her because she is very strong-willed, self-motivated, talented, and is not afraid to “march to the beat of her own drum.”
Aside from profit and loss, how do you measure success in your job?
Measuring my own success is hard because I still feel like I have SO much more to do in my life and I’d like to think that I haven’t achieved all that I am supposed to yet. However, given my current role, I would say my biggest measurement of success in my job is the improved satisfaction and engagement of my employees.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
While I am proud of myself for achieving multiple degrees and experiencing things that have made me a better person in my life, I would like to think that I have not achieved my “greatest achievement” of my life by the age of 30. I hope to continue doing great things and I hope to achieve more things in the future.
I’m happiest when I’m…Dancing. Those who know me well know that I absolutely love to dance. I also am happiest when I am helping others by volunteering my time.