Position title: Associate Director of Career Advising & Communities/Career & Internship Specialist: Consulting, Finance, Management, & Client Relations
Website: Make an Advising Appointment
Hobbies: Coffee roasting, hiking at WI state parks, board games, cooking and trying new food
From: Camden, Michigan
Education: BA in Mathematics & Business Minor from Adrian College, MA in Higher Education from Michigan State University
What was your first job?
I worked at a pizza and ice cream shop. It was an interesting role that included almost everything including waiting on tables, making the food, managing inventory, dishes, and more. I learned a lot about showing up, working hard, building relationships with coworkers, and customer service.
What was a “career mistake” you made as a student?
I didn’t really engage in any of the things that would have really helped me like career fairs, meeting with career advisors, or learning how to network at any point until my senior year. A lot of those things were overwhelming, so I just avoided doing any of it. At the end of my Junior year, I decided that I didn’t want to pursue teaching, but had no idea what I could do with a Math degree. I was lucky to have a mentor my senior year who helped me find career options and to pursue an internship. I bring that perspective to any meeting I have with students, appreciating students who are planning ahead and working on these things early, but also empathizing with students who feel like time is running out and they don’t even know where to start!
What made you decide to work in career services?
I realized the part of teaching that I love most is the relationships and opportunities to help students personally and in their learning. I really enjoyed this through working in higher education with college students. As I progressed in my career and developed the skills that helped me be successful as I transitioned across organizations and roles, I realized I wanted to support students in their career development journey because that was such a challenging but vital life skill that I only developed through some caring mentors.
What do you like about your Career Community (Consulting, Finance, Management, & Client Relations)?
You can major in literally anything and find your way into business fields. The key thing is getting experience. And for me, experience always helped me “sift and winnow” in terms of my interests and strengths throughout my career. So in this career community, I get to help students from any background pursue business interests by getting experience that helps them have self awareness and to be marketable when they graduate.
What do you wish you’d known about careers when you were a student?
I wish I knew more about what networking was, how to do that in ways that were aligned with who I am as a person, and the value of that networking. I was so intimidated and confused by that concept that I never really engaged in the concept enough to find the value in networking.