Where are they now? Ashley Pinney | 2011-2012


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.


A Positive Attitude Perfect 10.0

By Katie Greene, Career Advising Fellow

The Olympics recently came to a close, which (if you’re anything like me) probably means you will now be able to get your full eight hours or more of sleep each night! I found myself staying up much later than usual to watch my favorite sporting events, especially gymnastics! Clearly, Simone Biles was quite successful at these 2016 Olympics, and if the perfect 10.0 scoring system still existed within elite gymnastics, I’m sure she would have received many 10’s while competing in Rio. Watching Simone Biles compete her skills with such ease and perfection is always impressive. However, it’s important to remember that in addition to her natural talent and excellent work ethic, a foundational element to Simone’s success is her ability to maintain a positive attitude.

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This reality led me to consider the ways in which exhibiting a positive attitude at work (whether regarding schoolwork, an internship or job), not only increases our overall enjoyment of our work, but also leads us to increased success in reaching our professional goals.

Udemy blogger, Allison Boyer, provides the following 10 tips for success when working to improve or maintain your positive attitude at work. I’ve summarized and condensed her suggestions below. I invite you to consider these tips and see if you can score a perfect 10.0 on your positive attitude at work!

Tip #1: Report problems quickly and professionally.

If you speak to your boss about a complaint, try to also propose a solution.

Tip #2: Treat your coworkers with respect.

You don’t need to like everyone you work with, but being respectful to all those around you helps create and support a positive work environment.

Tip #3: Get enough sleep.

Don’t rely on “catching up” on the weekends. Go to bed earlier.

Tip #4: Identify negative thoughts.

Be mindful of any negative thoughts, and consider if you can approach an issue from a more positive perspective.

Tip #5: Work on your overall stress level.

Try and take a holistic approach to understanding your stress levels. Stress at home or in a relationship affects stress levels at work and vice versa.

Tip #6: Work toward a new job (don’t remain stagnant in a truly miserable job).

If you truly hate your job, prepare your resume and start looking for a new position.

Tip #7: Set goals.

If you’re feeling stagnant in your job, it might be helpful to sit down with your manager to create some realistic, yet challenging goals, both short and long-term.

Tip #8: Alter your responsibilities.

If you have the option to take on new tasks, this is one way to mitigate the monotony of more mundane tasks.

Tip #9: Smile!

Without being disingenuous, a simple smile can subconsciously affect your overall mood, as well as, affect the positive interaction between co-workers.

Tip #10: Remember that a job is just a job.

Your job does not define you. If you don’t like your job, be grateful for the paycheck while you continue looking for a new position, and try and focus on enjoying the more positive aspects of your life.

To read the full content surrounding these 10 tips, check out Allison Boyer’s blog here: https://blog.udemy.com/positive-attitude-at-work/

Where are they now? Marianne (Brigola) Gissane | 2011-2012

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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 Marianne below.

What are you doing now? Where? 

I’m the Talent Acquisition Specialist for the Global Talent Acquisition Team at Patheon, in the Research Triangle Park (Durham, NC). I work with the executive recruiting team for a contract pharmaceutical manufacturing company that has over 8,000 employees across 25 international sites. I manage the candidate experience for senior and executive level candidates interviewing for positions at our sites (this means everything from coordinating interviews, travel logistics and managing day-of execution of the meetings). Additionally, I’m newly in charge of reporting for our team, which includes everything from requisition requests for new positions to global talent metrics for the CEO and Executive Board. I also have additional projects including developing a university relations strategy and executive on-boarding.

What led you to your current position? Discuss your career path post the SPDC Career Advising Fellowship.

The summer after my Fellowship, I worked with the Elon in LA Program / Bridges in LA Program as a program coordinator and internship supervisor. Following that, I spent a year at the University of Virginia as a Career Advisor for the College of Arts and Sciences, and then returned to Elon as the Assistant Director of Career Services for the School of Communications. The students and faculty were amazing (of course!) I had the opportunity to get involved in so many things including conference presentations, ELP classes and employer relations.

However at that point, I had about 4-5 years of post-grad experience only in higher education and I was itching to do something different. I wanted some experience in corporate organizations and recruiting. An advertising agency in Durham had an opening for a Talent Coordinator. The position was working with their recruiter and managing their 3 internship programs. It seemed like a great opportunity that would allow me to still be involved with college students, but also gain experience on the recruiting side and help me build additional skills. I applied and landed the job at the ad agency. My experience in the School of Communications had given me knowledge of advertising and my experiences as a Fellow and with the Elon in LA programs had helped me gain experience in building programs and internships. I was at the agency for almost a year when they went through some downsizing (ah corporate!) which led my to current role at Patheon.

How did your time as a Career Advising Fellow impact your professional life?

I don’t think I’d be where I’m at if it wasn’t for the Career Advising Fellowship. In addition to experience in career advising, I learned so much, so quickly. Time management, public speaking, program development and coordination – I pull on all of those skills on a daily basis. The ability to juggle multiple hats and projects in particular is one that I’ve taken with me from role to role.

The Fellowship gave me such a strong foundation for my career within career advising. I had far more experience than other candidates who had just completed a traditional internship – in addition to meeting with students, I developed & taught classes and programs, worked with student organizations, collaborated with faculty etc. – I felt confident in my abilities as a career advisor.

Even now, a little over a year out of higher ed, it’s been reassuring that so many of the things I shared with students about professional development (resume formatting, the importance of LinkedIn, etc.) definitely speak true for recruiting from the employer’s perspective, whether it’s at the internship level or executive level.

What is one thing you know now, you wish you had known during your time as a Career Advising Fellow?

Appreciate how invested and open faculty members are to collaborating w/ Career Services! When I left Elon, I was struck by how difficult it was to engage faculty in career development for their students – some didn’t want to give up class time, others didn’t think it was relevant for students at that stage of their academic career.

At times it may feel overwhelming (particularly when you started with an 8AM appointment and now you’re running to a 6:30 presentation) but it’s worth it. You’ll be working hard throughout the year and honestly, everything afterwards will seem like a cakewalk compared to your 10 months at Elon. At the end of your Fellowship, you’ve have learned more in those 10 months than you would have thought possible.

Also, College Coffee typically only has half and half – if you’re like me and prefer your coffee  w/ milk, be sure to bring your own 🙂


What emoticon would you use to summarize your time with the SPDC as a fellow?

As a Fellow, you’re constantly on the go – from one appointment to a classroom to another academic building to a student org meeting… plus, those 10 months fly by!

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Welcome 2012-2013 Career Fellows!!!

by Ross Wade, Career Fellows Manager

Elon University’s Student Professional Development Center is pleased to welcome the 2012-2013 Career Fellows!

Katie Smith

In addition to an enthusiasm for Career Services, Katie has an interest and background in physical and mental wellbeing. Katie completed her undergraduate education in Psychology and Spanish at the State University of New York at Geneseo where she was active in athletics and campus life. Following graduation, Katie completed a year of AmeriCorps service in adolescent psychiatry, tutoring patients and supporting therapy groups at Strong Behavioral Health in Rochester, NY. Katie recently earned her master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, with a concentration in Student Affairs at the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester. Throughout her graduate program, Katie completed internships in career services, leadership, orientation, and community college student services. Katie enjoys spending her free time reading and playing recreational sports.

Mikki Hornstein

Mikki brings a strong background in student services through a diverse set of experiences within higher education. She began her educational pathway at Middlesex County College where she earned her Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and Psychology. After, she continued on to Douglass College at Rutgers University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  She then studied at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College where she completed her Master of Education in Higher Education Administration. In addition to holding an assistantship in Vanderbilt University’s Global Education Office, Mikki also held internships with Peabody Career Services and Rutgers University Career Services.

Welcome Career Fellows!!

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Marianne & Ashley

Career Services welcomes Ashley Pinney & Marianne Brigola, who will serve as Career Fellows for the Academic Year 2011-2012.  This will be the inaugural year of the Career Fellows, which are 10 month contracted positions, starting on July 18.  The fellowships will assist with student professional development by teaching Transitions Strategies courses, collaborating with Residence Life to spearhead career programming initiatives, doing one-on-one counseling, holding drop-in hours and various programming.

Ashley brings strong international experience as well as teaching experience.  After graduating from The College of William & Mary with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, she served as a Resident Advisor/American Scholar at the Royal Hospital Boarding School in Ipswich, England.  Following her year in England, Ashley served as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant at Seogwipo Girls’ High School in Jejudo, South Korea.  She recently graduated from The University of Virginia with a Master of Education in Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education.

Marianne has a strong counseling background and varied experiences within higher education.  A graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Marianne went on to study College Counseling and Student Development at UNC Greensboro, where she held several assistantships and internships within Career Services, Vacc Counseling & Consulting Clinic and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.  She went on to work with Youth Villages and The Bruson Group doing mental health counseling but is transitioning back to the world of higher education and career counseling.

(the above text was taken from an E-Net article written by Michelle Jones)