1.Why have you chosen to join and stay involved in OCDA?
I have always been the type of person to get actively involved with the group that works on my behalf or on behalf of a cause I care about. I care about my profession and about the advancement of career development, so I naturally want to get involved. The world is run by those who show up, and if I want my ideas and opinions to matter, I have to show up. 2.What do you most enjoy about career development work? I like the creativity of it. Being in a room with a person sincerely attempting to find their place in the world is a privilege and a great dance. I went through tough career confusion in my late 20’s, and I love that I now have some tools and training to help someone navigate better than I was able to. I also enjoy the variety in my work - no two days are alike. Lastly, it matches my values, especially where I work now. I work at Western Oregon University where ca. 50% of our students are first generation students, and I get to see and create access to upward mobility for students who desperately want that. 3.Tell us about your organization and practice. Western Oregon University is a small/mid-sized public, liberal arts university. It is a friendly, student-focused campus, in a rural area close to Salem and Corvallis. I’m the director of the Service Learning & Career Development office. I find the merging on service and career quite natural. We connect students to a variety of transformative experiences and encourage an active approach to finding where their passion and interests meet the needs of the world. 4.If you had to pick one favorite tool or resource you use regularly in your work, what would it be? My favorite tool is Savickas’ constructivist approach using his 7 questions. It works amazingly well and I love how both the client and I have no idea where it will take us. The client ends up having a deeper sense of purpose and reverence for their journey. I also have a sneaky way to do mock interviews that is quite empowering and effective. I work with clients to create their own agenda for the interview that aligns with what we assume is the ‘ideal candidate’ for the position. 5.What is one thing most people might not know about you? I had a former life as an artist and entrepreneur. I would ‘rescue’ old furniture and paint it whimsically and sell in galleries and eclectic furniture stores. I would also custom paint for people, usually with complete freedom. It was a fun time in my life, but it ran its course. I discovered career counseling and was hooked. Now, instead of designing furniture, I help people design their lives.