By Danielle Golinski, Career Advising Fellow
Hello all, it is a true pleasure to be writing the first blog on behalf of the 2014-2015 Career Advising Fellow crew! Although this may be the first post of the academic year from us, it is just the beginning of our amazing journey and story that we will share with each one of you dedicated readers. It is going to be an absolutely thrilling ride, I hope you are ready to join us!
So what have the Career Fellows been up to? Well, first, there are now 3 of us; 3 wonderful ladies working together every day and learning about all that Elon University has to offer and how we fit into the realm of things. Kristen is the newest addition member to our team, she will be sure to introduce herself. We are so fortunate to have another support in this 3-legged stool of our – the fellows role – team.
During the first 2 months of our time here at Elon we have breezed through training, the first day of school, and the first 3 weeks of classes. We have begun our presentations to various classrooms and campus organizations, met with a wonderful group of Elon’s Senior Staff, met with and have gotten to know the Student Professional Development Center and all of its staff members, and we have learned about Elon’s mission and strategic plan all while settling into our new on-campus apartment (with a can’t be beat 2-minute walking commute) and surrounding environment. It sure has been a lot, but every moment of every day has been engaging, educational, rewarding, and most of all, fun!
Feel free to send us all positive vibes as we dig deeper into the year. To end, I would like to include a quote that I most recently put on my LinkedIn profile because I feel that it expresses exactly who and I am and why I am here “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius
After reviewing the applications of several candidates from across the country, hosting first-round Sykpe interviews and second round on-campus interviews, the Student Professional Development Center is pleased to announce its newest additions to the Career Services staff! Welcome aboard, Amber and Danielle!
Originally from Summerfield, NC, Amber McCraw attended North Carolina State University where she obtained Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Business Administration. It was there that she discovered her love for working with students. Amber has spent the last two years at the University of Georgia completing her Master’s degree in College Student Affairs Administration and working in Residence Life. She is looking forward to the opportunity to work with students in a new capacity at Elon University come July. In her free time, Amber enjoys listening to country music, watching movies, reading, and taking on new challenges such as running the Disney Princess Half Marathon!
New Hampshire native, Danielle Golinski, has always had the passion for working with young adults in the field of education. While completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire, she had a Resident Assistant position that provided a leadership opportunity and helped to provide focus on her career path. Most recently, Danielle completed her Master of Education degree in School Counseling at Rivier University in Nashua, New Hampshire. During her program, she worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Student Success program, and as an intern in the guidance department at a public high school. Danielle brings with her a strong counseling background and a passion for student engagement and positive psychology. In her free time, Danielle enjoys spending time with her family and friends, working out at the gym, and being crafty. She is looking forward to the warmer climate and exploring all that North Carolina and Elon University has to offer.
Amber & Danielle will begin the Fellowship in July 2014!
As of today, Danielle and I have less than 2 weeks remaining in our Fellowship. This experience has been both challenging and rewarding but most of all, it has been extremely quick! In the midst of Elon’s bubble of constant growth and change, we have most certainly adopted the tireless work ethic of our colleagues and peers. The statics of our mid-year recap have more than doubled and we’re ending this year with a wealth of knowledge and career services experience.
Going forward, Danielle will stay on board with Elon for the summer as she coordinates the Bridges and Elon in New York programs. Between recruiting, assisting students with internship searches, planning activities, and hosting informational sessions she’s been quite busy (to say the least). Gracefully, she’s spent the last couple of months transitioning into her new role while still fulfilling the expectations of the Fellowship.
Next weekend, I’ll begin an 18 hour road trip to Texas. On June 9th, I will begin working as Career Counselor II for the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston. This position will allow me to work with a population of students very similar to those at Elon, so I’m excited to take with me the University’s appreciation of and commitment to a Liberal Arts education.
Words cannot begin to express our gratitude for this Fellowship and the opportunity to learn and grow in an engaging, innovative, and welcoming environment. We are forever indebted to Elon University. Passing on the torch won’t be easy, but we have faith that the legacy of the Fellowship will continue. The 2014-2015 Career Advising Fellows have been selected and will be introduced on the blog next week!
Lately, there has been a lot of talk about creating your future and seizing opportunities when they are presented.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with students in the “Life Entrepreneur Program (LEP)” this year. The program “prepares students to craft meaningful and flexible life plans in light of the ever changing, fast paced world outside of Elon”. We looked at each student’s strengths and helped them to discover their core identify. We looked at how they use these strengths and helped them realize the unique talents they have to contribute to the world. They prepared their resumes, interview skills and their all-important 1-minute pitches in order to be ready when opportunity knocks. “These skills will help students better align their core identity with their professional and personal goals.”
In the book titled “Luck is No Accident”, the author explains that we must remain open to change and accept where we are at the moment, knowing that there is a purpose. In the end all of the dots somehow seem to connect, even when you’re not sure they can. This was an evident theme that arose as guests shared their stories during a young professionals panel I hosted for a group of Transition Strategies students. One of our panelists realized mid-way through a doctoral program that it was the wrong path and completely changed direction. The individuals this person met and the experiences they had however led to the next opportunity and the next culminating in a position and a place in life they are very happy with.
So, are you charting your own course or letting someone or something else do it for you? My hope is that you set a goal to follow your passions and interests, even when the vision is fuzzy. Chances are the course will change anyway, but there is a reason you are where you are and you will get where you’re going.
Check out this fantastic TED talk to learn how you can become a Life Entrepreneur!
This past Tuesday, Danielle and I joined two colleagues in giving presentations to the parents of children enrolled in the Alamance County Head Start Program. The two of us were tasked with sharing information on job search resources and interview preparation, topics that we are more than comfortable discussing. But there was a twist.
Before arriving, we were told that we would need an interpreter since some parents only spoke Spanish. None of us knew exactly what to expect, but we prepared as best we could. We split the group into two parts: English-speaking and Spanish-speaking parents separated, and two of us presented to each group.The parents were attentive and very appreciative, so this enthusiasm was quite comforting. The interpreter did a great job giving the parents examples to further explain what we were saying and it seemed that they valued the information. But half way through my portion of the presentation, I began to feel very discouraged. I had all of this great information to share, but literally couldn’t find the words to do so. I love discussing career development with others but I was frustrated that I couldn’t do my job myself.
Growing up in Louisiana, Creole French is commonly spoken in most households and was the only foreign language that we could learn in school. Once I got to college, I enrolled in Spanish classes and was always commended by my professor for being one of her best students. Then graduation came and I forgot how much I enjoyed the cultural experience of learning a new language. After meeting with the Head Start parents, my desire to learn Spanish is greater now than ever before and I look forward to being able to help others, no holds barred.
¡Voy a aprender español!
When I received the email this morning that the university was closed due to an impending snow storm, I have to admit that I was excited to spend the day at home playing catch up. The thought of having an entire day to blog and crack open one of the many books I’ve recently purchased gave me such a boost of energy that I was wide awake at 5 a.m.! One of the first books I wanted to get to was The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. In the book, Ferriss challenges some of the most fundamental questions that we as career advisors often ask our students: “What do you want?”, “What are your goals?”, and “What makes you happy?”
He states that, “Excitement is the more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should strive to chase. It is the cure-all.” He argues that most people will never know what they want and that there is one simple question that can be asked to reflect their actual objective: “What excites you?” I found this especially amusing considering my excitement about having a free day to read and blog. I definitely plan to incorporate that question and similar ones into my next career decision-making appointment, but in the meantime:
- What wakes you up at 5 a.m. on your day off?
- What do you do when the snow has you trapped indoors?
- What makes you excited to wake up and be you for the day?
2013 has officially transitioned to 2014. We are more than halfway through the academic year and just last week Rayna and I realized we had reached the 6 month mark in our 10 month fellowship.
We’ve kept busy this month co-teaching a Transition Strategies course for a group of students getting ready to start a new chapter in their lives. The course is part of the Revson Series a new initiative designed to prepare students for life after Elon. Members of the SPDC staff have shared information with our students on topics including, personal finance, insurance, real estate, negotiation and more. The students weren’t quite sure what they had gotten themselves into at the beginning of the course but looking through their final reflections, the benefits are clear. They are changing from students to adults. The series was created to ease the transition from college to a world of independence in which they will have to make choices about where to work and live, how to spend their money and what to invest in. Thanks to the course our students are leaving feeling confident in their knowledge and abilities.
At the same time Rayna and I are beginning our own transition. The fellowship is quickly coming to an end and we’ve begun to think about our next steps. We too are confidently moving from a period of learning and development to full-fledged professionals. Reflecting back on the past few months we’ve realized how much we have learned, not just about career services or higher education but about ourselves and what we are looking for out of a career and out of life.