Bronco Spotlight: Rachel Wood

Image of Rachel Wood

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

Interim Associate Director, Center for Career & Professional Development at Kalamazoo College

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 head up our departmental communication to students and alumni, and am constantly working with my team to connect those two groups.  I create and deliver workshops on relevant career development topics, and serve on committees across campus that aim to continuously improve our programs and services. I manage our job search and networking tech platforms and also administer the College's First Destination Survey.v

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. As is often the case with nonprofits, concerns surrounding limited resources are a challenge. However, some of the most challenging parts of my job end up being rewarding in the end, such as seeing policy changes put in place after collaborative work across campus. 

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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