Impromptu Career Advising

By: Ashley Pinney, 2011-2012 Career Advising Fellow

So I’m at the gym a couple of weeks ago, sweating profusely, wearing shorts and a tank-top, and my hair is in something that looks like a bun/bird’s nest on top of my head and one of my former students approaches me and we begin a conversation about her life direction, grad school decisions, etc. I’m flattered that this student likes me that much to stand so close to me despite me being disgusting. It was then I realized that these “impromptu career advising sessions” happen to me all the time.

The Top 5 Places Where Impromptu Career Advising Takes Place for me at Elon (in no particular order):

1. Women’s bathrooms  2. Parking Lots   3. The Gym   4. Old Trollinger (where Marianne and I live)  5. Acorn coffee shop

The whole campus is my office…

Career Advisors as Greek Week Judges

By: Ashley Pinney, 2011-2012 Career Advising Fellow

Last night, Rene Jackson and I served as judges for the annual Greek Week Dance/Skit night. It was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed being asked to help out with fun activities like these and I think it’s good for students to see that staff are interested in what they do.

Me, Scott, Evan, and Rene serving as judges
Lots of color and costumes!


By Marianne Brigola, Career Fellow 2011-2012

Like Ashley, I had the opportunity to accompany of group of students on an Alternative Spring Break group through the Elon Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. My group traveled to Atlanta, GA to work on three different project related to urban poverty. The entire trip was student-led and organized; my primary role was just to serve as a faculty representative in case of an emergency.

One of projects was working with the Cool Girls organization in Atlanta, a non-profit after-school mentoring program for girls, aimed at mentorship and increasing positive self-image. We had the opportunity to tour their cool, pink downtown office where the students learned more about the organization and their task for the week. The students went to three different elementary schools, where they tutored students and then performed a skit on healthy family relationships for the students, followed by leading discussion groups.

Elon students performing their skit for elementary students!

I could tell the Elon students had a great time interacting with the girls and the girls seemed to really enjoy talking with them as well!

Elon students tutoring

We also worked with the Atlantic Community Food Bank in their community garden, Product Rescue Center and Kids in Need programs as well as with a homeless men’s shelter.

Stone Mountain


In addition to the various service projects, we had the opportunity to get a bird’s eye view of Atlantic with  a hike on Stone Mountain one day.

Atlanta Spring Break Participants


Our trip coordinators Carling A. and Kim L. did a great job organizing the trip: from the logistics of where we stayed to our daily schedules, to leading our reflection sessions. I was really impressed with their coordination and planning skills. It was great getting to know students outside of the Elon campus and I’m so thankful to the students, the Kernodle Center and the SPDC for allowing me to participate in such a wonderful experience!

Una Semana en La Republica Dominicana (A Week in the Dominican Republic)

Created by Ashley Pinney, 2011-2012 Career Advising Fellow

I spent last week serving as a staff advisor on the Dominican Republic Alternative Spring Break Service  Trip. My group of 12 students and myself volunteered with a Dominican organization called Cambiando Vidas (Changing Lives). The goal of the organization is to build homes for members of communities who could not afford to do so without the organization’s assistance. For five days we shoveled, sifted, hammered, mixed, and painted. It was a really amazing experience and the students (and myself) got a lot out of it.

My students and the community members after the 1st day

We had a lot of interactions with community members both on and off the construction site. After work one day we played softball all together and it was a lot of fun (despite my team losing haha).

My softball team!

After we finished work on the last day we went to a beach in a different part of the island. It was great to relax after the hard work we had done. The students did a great job of forging relationships with community members and I commend them on their compassion and their willingness to learn something new (whether that was Spanish, how to build a house, or how to build relationships). I am grateful to Elon and the Student Professional Development Center for allowing me to go!

Pretty beach we visited

It’s All Greek to Me

Created By Ashley Pinney, 2011-2012 Career Advising Fellow

On Saturday I got the unique opportunity to  help out with sorority recruitment. I was never in a sorority at William and Mary and didn’t know much about the Office of Greek Life and I was curious to learn more about it. Plus, I think Shana Plasters and Eden Esters and really great student affairs professionals and I wanted to help them out.

The goal of Saturday afternoon was to be available to listen to women’s concerns and issues in regards to choosing a sorority. We couldn’t offer any advice but we were able to ask them a lot of questions to help them make  their own decision when it came to how they were going to pref. Some ladies came to my table full of excitement. Others came to my table crying. It was an emotional time for them. They were also exhausted from the 5 jam-packed days that preceded this moment. I really enjoyed the experience and listening to the ladies.

Elon Student Affairs Professionals

Discover N.C.

Created by: Ashley Pinney 2011-2012 Career Advising Fellow

Two weeks ago I accompanied 20 students and Henry Walling on a Discover N.C trip (a program put on by the Office of Student Activities). We went to see the Carolina Hurricans play the Philadelphia Flyers in Raleigh. What a game! Everyone had a really great time and I was able to meet a lot of first-year students I would have never met if I hadn’t gone on the trip.

As I am charged with reaching out to students and informing them of the services my office provides, trips like these are great ways to do just that. A few first-year students asked for my business card and I look forward to assisting them this semester!