By: Ross Wade, Director of Career Development
This academic year we’ll be checking in with some of our past Career Advising Fellows (CAFs) to find out where they are now, how they are doing, and any advice they have for current and prospective CAFs. Check out our brief Q&A with Ashley below.
What are you doing now? Where?
I am still working at Elon! I work as the Associate Director of Corporate and Employer Relations for the School of Communications. I have been in this role since September of 2014. I am the first person to hold this position and I really enjoy it. I am responsible for increasing employer engagement on campus. This involves bringing employers to campus both physically and virtually to recruit Elon talent and network with students. Elon is a very special place and I work with great colleagues and students. I feel very fortunate to be here.
What led you to your current position? Discuss your career path post the SPDC Career Advising Fellowship.
I have had the good fortune of working in a few different capacities at Elon. After my initial year as a Fellow I served as a Senior Fellow and helped the second round of Fellows transition to their new roles at Elon. Next I served as the Internship Coordinator and Student Life Coordinator for the Elon in Los Angeles program. Elon has a great Study USA program and I spent two semesters in Los Angeles assisting the program director. When the program ended I returned to the east coast to be the Associate Director of Corporate and Employer Relations. This role was brand new in 2014 and I thought it would be a great complement to my prior work advising students. I get the opportunity to travel quite a bit in this role which I really enjoy. The employers in the communications realm are really interesting and dynamic and I really enjoy getting to know recruiters and their hiring needs.
How did your time as a Career Advising Fellow impact your professional life?
Being a Fellow made me realize how much a career in career services really matters and how you have the ability to make a difference in someone’s life. Helping a student with their resume and cover letter for a job they are excited about and then hearing that she/he got the job really makes your day. The fellowship also taught me just how important quality, focused listening is. You aren’t able to work with a student unless you really listen to their needs/goals/concerns, etc. This has influenced me professionally but also personally when conversing with family and friends.
What is one thing you know now, you wish you had known during your time as a Career Advising Fellow?
I wish I had known how good I really had it with a meal plan; cooking is laborious😀 Jokes aside I wish I paid more attention to what the Corporate and Employer Relations team did. I didn’t give them enough attention when I was on the advising side and I bet I could have gained a lot of industry knowledge that I could have shared with students. I wish I had given more thought to how these two branches work together and how they both benefit each other.
What emoticon would you use to summarize your time with the SPDC as a fellow?
I really enjoy working in higher education and in this intellectual climate. I like that our students are so focused and have big dreams! I like that my team and I are trying to help them achieve those dreams.