Harville finds career success by helping others

Randi Harville had a difficult time choosing a major while a student at Henderson State University. She accumulated almost enough credits to minor in sociology, psychology, education, and family and consumer sciences.

“I have always been interested in human behavior and mental health, but I wanted to find a career in helping others,” Harville said. “When I realized that human services was exactly that, I knew immediately that was what I needed to pursue.”

Harville graduated from Henderson State in 2006 with her human services degree. Today, she is director of development at CareLink, a nonprofit in North Little Rock that serves the elderly in central Arkansas with services like Meals on Wheels.

Harville credits her degree with much of her career success.

“I think my human services education has helped across the board,” she said. “Though I currently don’t work in a traditional social work role, I began my career at CareLink as a social worker. Now, in my executive role here, I am better able to understand the community services side of the nonprofit.”

“Henderson’s program is staffed with excellent professors who are available and supportive of their students. I spent some of the best years of my life at Henderson and became the person I am now because of the lifelong friends and mentors I had the privilege of meeting.”

While at Henderson, Harville served as an intern for the Department of Human Services, Division of Children and Family Services. She was a student worker in the Disability Resource Center for more than three years.

Harville said she chose to attend Henderson for it small-campus atmosphere.

“I always loved the natural beauty of the Arkadelphia area because it was far enough from home (Bryant) without being too far,” she said. “I ended up falling in love with the quaint, smaller university experience. For years after moving to Little Rock, Arkadelphia still felt like home to me.”

Harville said human services is an important aspect of any community.

“It’s not necessarily a glamorous career, but it is essential to the community, especially to our most vulnerable,” she said. “As a human services professional, you are needed. There is typically an actual person depending on you for a basic need. As taxing as it is at times, the reward is many-fold.”

In her current role, Harville oversees CareLink’s fundraising, public relations, marketing, and communications efforts.

“Through grants, special events, and private and corporate support, my department raises nearly $400,000 per year to continue and expand needed services,” she said. “We are also responsible for ensuring the brand of the agency and making sure the public is aware that CareLink is here both as a community resource and in need of community support.”

After graduating from Henderson, Harville began working at Life Strategies Counseling in Little Rock as a case manager where she partnered with a therapist to provide therapy services to elementary school students. A year later, she joined CareLink as a care coordinator, managing the care of a caseload of around 30 clients.

“I did home visits every day all over Pulaski, Faulkner, and Lonoke counties and all the requisite paperwork,” Harville said. “I began the preparations to pursue a master’s degree in social work when I was offered a complete change in paths as assistant to the CEO and the development department.

“Through this position, I could interact with the board of directors and help implement a total overhaul of the branding, marketing, and advertising. I eventually took on the role of public relations coordinator.”

Harville advises current students to “explore and educate themselves on the exact potential job opportunities available after graduating with a human services degree. Find out what further education and/or licenses you may need to pursue in the future.”

Harville has no regrets about her career choice. 

“My job is the best thing that’s happened to me,” she said. “I have such a fun career that fosters my creativity, encourages personal growth, and challenges me every single day while fulfilling my need to help others.”