Joining the Team

By Kristen Aquilino, International Career Fellow

Hi everyone! It’s very exciting to be here at Elon and a part of the SPDC team. As Danielle mentioned in her post on Monday, I just recently arrived and thought this would be a great opportunity to say… thank you for such a warm welcome!

Three weeks ago I started as an International Career Advising Fellow and am thrilled to be able to work with students and colleagues to help foster the global career aspirations of the Elon student community. So far it has been a wonderful whirlwind of meeting new people, training, settling in, and learning about all that the university has to offer.

My path to Elon has involved a variety of both domestic and international experiences, each with a very close tie to the field of Education. After completing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and International Studies at Penn State University, I worked to gain experience within education from multiple vantage points including consulting, teaching, and programming, as well as through completion of a Master’s degree in International Education Policy at the University of Maryland. As for this leg of the journey, it’s great to be immersed in the southern hospitality of North Carolina and energized by the innovative spirit of Elon.

With this blog, we (the fellows) look forward to posting interesting discussion topics, reflecting on our experiences, and sharing helpful resources along the way!

The Fellows Are Back and Settled In!

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

Join Us In Welcoming the 2014-2015 Career Advising Fellows!

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!

Amber 3

Amber McCraw

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!


Danielle Golinski

 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! 











Amber McCraw

“But…we JUST got here!”: 2013-2014 Fellows’ Farewell!

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.

uh-logoWords 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!




Just Live Your Life

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!

Debo aprender español


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! 

Snow Day Excitement


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?