Why have you chosen to join and get/stay involved in OCDA? What inspired you to take a leadership role.
As a new professional I think it is so important to get and stay connected with others who I can learn from and share my knowledge with and this is the main reason I chose to get involved with OCDA. I love my career as a counselor and I love the career development work I get to do. OCDA is a great way to stay connected with others who share my similar passion. It is also a great way to stay up to date with the latest trends and information of our industry. I was inspired to take a leadership role to help give back to the profession and grow our community in Oregon.
What do you most enjoy about career development work?
Learning and changing. One of the main things that drew me to career development was my love of learning about new things, people, experiences and my openness to change. Every time I meet with someone I am learning about their unique experiences and I am being given a great amount of trust to support them during a process of change. Career development work is never ending and is always evolving as a person learns more about themselves, has new experiences, and tries new things. It is so rewarding to get to help people navigate this complex process of career development with the hope that in the end they will realize there is no one right way to do it.
Tell us about your organization and practice.
I work as a career counselor at Portland State University (PSU) which has a student population just over 29,000 currently enrolled students. Career counselors in my office work with all current students and alumni. What I love most about PSU is that our student demographic has so much variety with different ages, life experiences, cultural backgrounds, abilities, beliefs, etc. I am constantly invigorated by getting to learn about the unique individual in front of me and help guide them on their path. We are a small but busy office. We have about 4 career counselors that meet with students and alumni regularly. We also offer lots of online resources, workshops, career assessments, career planning classes and we partner with PSU faculty to try to get career development into the curriculum.
If you had to pick one favorite tool or resource you use regularly in your work with clients, what would it be and why?
It is pretty much impossible to pick just one! I use O*net very often to help people explore other options and demystify some inaccurate beliefs. The Interest Profiler on O*net helps people expand their list of careers to explore. I also encourage pretty much every person I meet with to do an informational interview (our office has a nifty handout on everything there is to know about these). There is nothing better than getting a firsthand account of what it is like to do a job. Informational Interviews can be used in so many ways, to help people explore career options, to help build their network, and to get specialized information about particular places they may want to work.
What's one interesting thing most people don't know about you?
That I love math and science! Like many people, I did not grow up thinking I wanted to be a career counselor, instead I thought I wanted to work in the medical field because I was good at math and science (and I enjoyed it!). I later learned that it is possible to enjoy certain things and not necessarily want to make a career out of them!