Bronco Spotlight: Rachel Wood

Master of Arts, counseling psychology: school counseling K-12, 2009; Bachelor of Arts, secondary education: English, 2006

Current Job Title:

Assistant Director, Center for Career & Professional Development

Current Employer:

Kalamazoo College

Describe your current job:

I assist students with career planning through exploration and assessment, including personal brand creation and management, professional document critiques, networking practice, and interview preparation.  I also serve as a liaison to the Education Guild and the Arts & Media Guild, connecting students with alumni.  I create and deliver workshops on relevant career development topics based on faculty and student requests, and update and maintain the departmental website, social media presence, and hard technology.  I also lead the departmental communications team and serve on the student services, evaluation/assessment, recruiting, and events teams.

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

The most rewarding parts of my job include meeting with and seeing growth in my students and seeing programs and annual events grow in their scope and success. The most challenging parts of my job include organizational communication and wearing multiple hats (though I also love my hat collection!).

If you had a campus job or internship, how did they impact your career development?

Getting involved on campus through both paid and volunteer positions was the most important and valuable decision I made as a student. While I obviously learned quite a bit from my coursework, I am still finding out just how much I learned from my co-curricular experiences. WMU offers an incredible amount of opportunity for personal growth for students who take initiative.

What advice would you offer students to help them decide on a career path?

Try things! Try your best, but don't be afraid of failure. Failure is awesome: embrace it. Don't hold yourself back by picking the easiest classes or not going after what you really want. You don't have to know now what you want to do in 25, 10, or even 5 years. You just need to decide what you want to try now.

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