Skip to main content

Rider's Almanac Blog

Career Tracks

Career Tracks: Liz Hendren, rail safety officer

| Thursday, July 28, 2022 5:59:00 AM

Many people who work at Metro Transit take on new responsibilities and roles throughout their careers. Career Tracks highlights the paths employees have taken to their latest assignment and where they see themselves going next. To learn more about career opportunities at Metro Transit and the Metropolitan Council, visit

How did you begin your career with Metro Transit?

Before I worked at Metro Transit, I worked at 911 for Ramsey County for several years as a call taker and a police dispatcher. I was looking to stay in public service and was drawn to Metro Transit because of the opportunities at a growing organization. I started as a rail supervisor and worked closely with the rail safety department in accident investigations.

What were your career goals and what steps did you take to achieve them?

When I applied for the safety job four or five years ago, I didn’t get it. I went back to school. I am now four classes shy of my bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University. My advice is if you don’t get a job, don’t get discouraged. Try to find out why you didn’t get a job or an interview. And if you have any deficiencies, work on them.

I am a single mom of a 7-year-old son. I have become more determined since I adopted him. When I worked in the Rail Control Center, I did shift work, and I was very determined to have a more normal schedule for the sake of my family.

When I was a rail supervisor, I got involved in training new supervisors. I was a mentor to on-the-job participants in our Leadership Academy. Then I got involved in Mentoring Works, first as a mentee then a mentor. I took a lot of LOD classes to develop myself in leadership and to get to know other people in the agency. I was lucky enough to get Mike Conlon as my mentor and job shadowed with John MacQueen, who was the manager of safety.

What advice do you have for others who want to take on more or different responsibilities?

Find people who are doing what you want to do and try to get to know them and find out what they did to get there. Ask to meet with them and try to find a mentor. It’s amazing how much people will help you if they see you're passionate about their field. You have to take chances, make connections, be willing to push yourself, go outside your comfort zone and take advantage of the opportunities such as classes and different programs that this agency offers. 

- Interview and photo by Laura Baenen