The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

’50 jobs in 50 states’ comes to Wisconsin

  • Daniel Seddiqui is working 50 jobs in 50 states in 50 weeks. This past week, he made cheese in Theresa, Wis.

"America's Dairyland" has just hired its newest cheese worker. But within a week, Daniel Seddiqui will move on to his next job.

Seddiqui, a 26-year-old native of Los Altos, Calif., has embarked on a goal of working 50 different jobs in 50 states in 50 weeks. This past week, he was busy churning cheese at Widmer's Cheese Cellars in Theresa, Wis.

Seddiqui graduated from the University of Southern California in 2005 with an economics degree, but then "failed" more than 40 job interviews. After working a variety of part-time and volunteer jobs in several states, Seddiqui decided this journey was his calling.

"I love the general atmosphere. People really do make the job in each state," Seddiqui said. "I've noticed so many cultural differences, and it seems like I'm living so many different lives. There's no real traditional culture in California with so many different minorities."

Seddiqui contacted Joe Widmer, the third-generation owner of Widmer's Cheese, three weeks before arriving. Widmer found Seddiqui's voice on his answering machine only hours after seeing him on The Today Show.

"I knew his quest was to work in the dairy industry, and it wouldn't hurt to have an extra guy for a week," Widmer said. The cheese factory has only five full-time and 12 part-time workers.

"He's got a good work ethic," Widmer said. "He's very inquisitive and wants to learn about the job, like how to turn the milk into cheese. I think this one year of 50 jobs will be better than six years of college."

Seddiqui said the majority of jobs he has worked are stereotypical of a state's history, so in Wisconsin, he targeted either a cheese factory or brewery.

"When you think of Wisconsin you think of cheese or Miller beer," Seddiqui said. "I decided to work on a dairy farm or a cheese factory. I'm in a rural area of Wisconsin, and everyone here is in the industry."

Seddiqui said the cheese-making process was very physical labor, with his tasks including going to the dairy farm, acquiring the milk and creating the different types of cheese.

"You dump it into some tubs that we have here, and mix it in," Seddiqui said. "You work 12 hours a day and 10 is cleaning because germs that exist might contaminate the rest of the batch. Every type of cheese has its own coloring, to differentiate, because they are all white at first."

Seddiqui's stop in Wisconsin is his 23rd along the line, which puts him nearly halfway through his "Living the Map" journey that began last September. His next stop is at the John Deer headquarters in the Quad Cities of Illinois.

Seddiqui said the purpose of his adventure is to explore all potential avenues not just for himself, but to showcase and bring to light a variety of careers, cities and cultures. At the end of his work, he plans to write a book on his experiences.

Matt Myers, a career counselor in the Career Services Center, said there are a couple benefits Seddiqui can acquire from this trip. Myers believes Seddiqui is discovering what he wants to do with his life by getting a taste of everything available to him.

"He is making himself that much more marketable," Myers said. "He is making himself more proactive, and setting a goal. He is driven to find what (employers) are looking for and having a wide variety of skills that he will be able to take away from this when he enters the traditional workforce."

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