“Growing With Sunset” by Erica Hoogendoorn

Feb 27, 2023 | Life At Sunset

I started working at Sunset Senior Communities in the Admissions office at Waterford Place and then in Accounting at Manor & Villages because I needed internships for school. I was attending Baker College at the time and working toward a Health Science degree. I knew I wanted to work in the senior living industry and I fell in love with Sunset almost immediately. I decided I didn’t want to leave after my internships ended, so I applied for an entry-level position.

Working At Sunset

Now here I am 5 ½ years later and I can’t imagine working anywhere else. I’ve really been able to grow and flourish as a person and experience a wide variety of positions and departments. I worked at Manor & Villages in the General Store, as a Waitress, and as a Resident Aide. Then I moved back to Waterford Place and worked third shift as a Receptionist. Most recently, I transferred to the Manor & Villages campus to be an Admissions Coordinator but have since been promoted to Administrative Assistant and Admissions Counselor for Rose Garden! I haven’t spent much time at Rose Garden yet and am excited to befriend a whole new group of residents and staff.

Why Sunset?

I have made a lot of great friends while working here, both with residents and staff. There is always an opportunity to learn from others and grow. Plus the organization really encourages a healthy work-life balance. You never have to worry or feel guilty about taking a sick day or using vacation days. Sunset really is a people-focused employer.

I also have a huge heart for the residents in our Memory Care programs and have become a SAIDO Supporter. I like the variety of being able to help out in different ways and in different departments because it gives me a better chance to get to know the residents and work with people I may not have crossed paths with in my day-to-day role.

Career Goals

When I first started working at Sunset, my end goal was to obtain a leadership position within the organization but it wasn’t clear just what exactly that position would look like or how I would get there. It’s another reason why I have purposely worked in nearly every department. I want to experience the different parts of the organization, the staff, and the residents so I have a full understanding of who everyone is, what is going on, and how I can help. Sunset is a place that encourages its employees to explore their passions while helping others and I’ve truly been able to do that.

Career Advice

When I first started at Sunset, I received one piece of advice that has done me well during the last five years — “Say yes as much as possible, and don’t be afraid to try new things.” I really took that to heart and have tried so many new things at Sunset and have met so many great people because of it! I would give the same advice to others who may be just starting out at Sunset.