Employee Profile: Melissa Oleson

Melissa Oleson standing at open file cabinet

Title: Financial Specialist - Advanced

Melissa started in the Office of Facilities, Safety, and Risk Management in 2013. In the spring of 2016, she was promoted to her current position in the Bureau of Financial Services.

How would you describe what you do at DHS?

I do a variety of things in my position. I print, key, process, and file expenditure reports and contracts for the Community Aids Reporting System. I am the site owner for the CARS SharePoint site. I answer a variety of questions from both internal and external customers. I am part of the project that is transitioning our payment processing system from a green screen mainframe to a web-based processing system.

What brought you to DHS?

Both of my parents had worked at DHS facilities, and my sister also worked for DHS. So, it was kind of a joke that I was joining the family business.

How do you balance your life at work and life at home?

I am able to arrive at work earlier and leave work earlier to accommodate my daughter’s day care schedule. This also means less time stuck in traffic and more time I can spend with my family.

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had while working at DHS?

The most memorable experience would probably be when our room was closed for the sprinkler project and we had to be relocated throughout the building. My unit was put in the third basement level, where the DHS workout room is now. It was over the holidays, so we decorated a little corner of the room to try to bring some cheer to that windowless room.

What is your favorite part of working here?

Something I really like is the location near the lake. It’s fun to eat lunches out on the Monona Terrace or just walk loops around the terrace on my breaks. I also like that it’s near food options if I don’t want to bring in a lunch. And Wednesday farmers markets in summer are fun to browse and buy cheese curds and bedding flowers.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I majored in Chinese Language and Literature and in East Asian Studies.

How has this role benefited your overall career goals?

I would like to eventually be on the granting side of payments, so I am gaining valuable experience now learning how everything works and interacts to get the payments made.

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Last Revised: April 13, 2021