Bronco Spotlight: Megan Pauken
Enrollment Specialist at Kalamazoo Valley Community College
I have the pleasure of helping students achieve their dreams! My job provides me the opportunity to both assist the enrollment management team in the development and implementation of enrollment strategies and work directly with prospective students. I also give many presentations and go on college visits to K-12 schools, businesses, non-profits, and other organizations/agencies to provide information about our degrees and transfer programs while aiding them through the admissions and enrollment process. One of the most fun parts of my job is that I get to coordinate recruitment events on campus that are geared towards prospective students, their families and high school guidance counselors.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is that I get to connect with students and families and help them figure out the most efficient and affordable way for them to achieve their educational goals. For many students I meet with, college seemed unrealistic and overwhelming. I can help them through the process, get connected with resources and find ways to make it more tangible. The most challenging part of my job is watching students give up on themselves. Many students get so bogged down with reasons that they can't achieve their dreams that they give up before they even get their feet wet. College is a time of mayhem, stress, questioning yourself and self-doubt, but it's also a beautiful time of self-discovery, growth and fun! It's not uncommon for me to talk to students who wish that they would have taken classes years earlier. Many now want to enroll but have more responsibilities and barriers that make it much harder than if they had started from the beginning.
If you had a campus job or internship, how did they impact your career development?
My career would not be where it is today without having worked on campus. Working on campus gives you a direct pipeline to campus information you never knew about and will lead you towards success. The supervisors from my college jobs mentored me and prepared me for the working world. They also gave me exposure to positions that I loved and never knew existed and ultimately gave me the opportunity to make student development the focus of my career!
What advice would you offer students to help them decide on a career path?
Remember that one degree does not equal one career opportunity. Gaining experience in fields that you are interested in through volunteering or internships is a great way to see if you enjoy that atmosphere. I enjoyed my time teaching K-12 art, but realized that my heart was in working with college students. The experiences and jobs that I had in college helped me to realize that I wanted to make a change and gave me the opportunity to shift my career in a new direction.