For the past seven years, I have had the privilege of working in higher education. I started at Collins College as a Career Advisor in 2005 and established my career becoming the Director of Career Services in 2008 where our team went on to be recognized three consecutive years in a row for our service to students by the Arizona Private School Association. Working with a committed team of professionals who all have a shared passion for helping others has been the best experience in my career. As I reflect on this experience, I can recall when I first started my career and what I learned from my experience with the first person I helped.
Career Development Goes Beyond the Career
I remember one of the first graduates I met on my new job, Griselle Gonzalez. Griselle lived in a very small town out of the state and when I called her, she had lost her motivation to pursue a career in Graphic Design and was very discouraged. I remember contacting every employer within a 50 mile radius of her small location leaving messages, getting hung up on, dealing with rude people, and having only a handful of people who seemed receptive to my call. I was doing advocacy work and it gave me insight as to the emotions and challenges recent graduates must have after leaving the nest (school) and entering the real world. My advocacy paid off and I remember the day I got a call from an employer with whom I had left a message who was hiring a Graphic Designer. I immediately contacted Griselle and we worked together on her resume, portfolio, and preparing for her interview. Griselle ended up landing the job. To this day, we remain friends. I tell this story because it was what got me hooked on helping people in the higher education arena. I believe education can transform lives and I learned very quickly that my job was beyond career development; it was about personal development in so many aspects. In my role, I had an opportunity to help build peoples’ confidence, guide people in accomplishing their life goals, and help them overcome fear and adversity.
As a Career Advisor, I helped students and graduates. As a Director of Career Services, I applied the same principals of personal development in helping my team grow and together, we succeeded despite many obstacles. My passion is human development. In my new role as Vice President of Learning Initiatives for Maxknowledge, Inc., I will have an opportunity to help many more people in their professional development. In my new role, I will be able to develop online professional development courses, facilitate online classes, develop training solutions, and develop social learning initiatives that support the professional (and personal) development of thousands who work in higher education, consequently, providing a greater opportunity to help thousands of students globally. It is an opportunity that combines many of my interests and one I can’t pass up. My official last day at Collins College is January 3rd. While I will miss all the students, graduates, colleagues, employer partners, and everyone else I have met along the way, you can always send me a tweet or stay connected on LinkedIn.