Hi there, please tell us a little bit about yourself! Who are you? What do you like to do for fun?
I'm from the Midwest and currently reside in Omaha, NE. I am very focused on my family and being involved in my church. I love reading fantasy novels, especially anything by Brandon Sanderson. I've also found a huge passion for TTRPG games, such as DnD and am involved in 2 games presently.
Can you tell us what you do as a Career Advisor at Creighton University for those who are unfamiliar?
As a Career Advisor, my job is to help current students and Alum with their career goals. A lot of the time this looks like building resumes, mock interviews, and finding internships. On a deeper level, I help with discernment on what individuals would like to pursue and match their interests, skills, and values into a career. We have a saying here, "Your major does not dictate your career." Although that can help you find direction and lead to a job, many people change and adjust so it is good to find experiences and network with others.
How did you decide to pursue your specific career? What pivotal moments pushed you to where you are now?
I first became interested in Higher Education when I was an RA at my undergraduate institution. From there I became a Resident Director. My school was small and ran into some financial issues and ended up closing - which led me to go right into a graduate program for Counseling in Student Affairs in Higher Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
I grew significantly during my time in college, and I wanted to help other students find that growth. I originally planned on being a Mental Health Counselor, but while searching for those programs I came across a similar program for Higher Education. Upon entering, I had a great cohort and we all felt like we could shape the next generation of students. Higher Education is changing and we wanted to be advocates for change and early adapters for innovation.
When I started at Creighton I was mostly working with students on their career journey. However, I also facilitate our First-Destination Survey which measures our post-graduation outcome rate for our graduating class. I absolutely love looking over the data and analyzing information on how our students are succeeding after graduation.
What programs & tools do you use everyday for your work? What do you like/dislike about these programs?
Microsoft Office 365 (especially Excel and Word). I am constantly emailing students and working in Word for building resumes and reviewing personal statements for graduate/professional school applications. I really enjoy the logical placement of features that Microsoft has put in each of its programs. However, I still appreciate my Apple products!
Any advice on how to stand out and get hired for those starting off?
Network! Having connections will open doors for you now and later in your journey. I encourage people to reach out to others doing the job/role that they want to have for a short conversation. They may be able to provide guidance, as well as introduce you to others who are great resources.
Public speaking and emotional intelligence are a must-have. Many Career Service professionals have counseling backgrounds and it's very obvious why when you are meeting students every day. I'd also recommend "Student Development in College" by Patton, Renn, Guido, and Quaye for those wanting to go deeper into why Student Affairs is an important role in individuals' lives.
What are 3 character traits that would make someone excel in your field?
Empathy, Drive, and a desire to learn
Most satisfying & difficult thing about your job?
Most satisfying would have to be watching the light-bulb turn on with students and seeing them reach one of their goals.
One of the hardest parts of the job is seeing students not meeting their goals even though they worked hard to reach them. But their resilience is incredible.
What would you like to say to your younger self?
It's okay if you don't feel like you fit in - you will find your place with the people who love you.
Best advice you've received/heard?
You can't control other people's actions, but you can control how you respond.