Meet the Counselors

By: PJay

The year is finally ending, and if you still haven’t stepped foot into our office, I highly encourage you to do so. The Career and Internship Services office is filled with many sweet and friendly peer educators and professional staff members. Among the professional staff there are five of my favorite career counselors. Each of them has positively impacted me, and I would like to spill the beans on how you can receive assistance from them as well. I would also like to mention that I am sorry if this post sounds bias; I am honestly giving my true opinions on how these counselors have benefitted me and students that I’ve seen using our services.

Whether you know or don’t know what you want to do in college, my best advice is to just come in our office to a schedule an appointment. Recently, I was able to sit and talk with each counselor and they are all so amazing and inspiring. Not only are they some of the most positive people that I’ve met, but they listen so well and I believe as a college student, that is just what we need sometimes. There may be little technical jobs that one counselor performs and the others don’t. However, each of these staff members can perform the same job in their own perspective and with their own specialties, which together, makes this office complete!

Meet the Counselors

The first person I would like to mention is Julie Westlund. Not only does she work hard as a director but she’s also a very professional individual. She is awesome at working with people who have disabilities and are a part of the older generation. The first counselor that I met with at the beginning of the year was her. Julie has helped me multiple times with figuring out which jobs are suitable for my interests and skills through taking all three assessments that C&IS offers. She helped me learn a lot about myself, and also helped me believe in myself that I can accomplish my goals.

Secondly, Janet Pribyl is one of the most energetic people in the office. She’s a bundle of fun to be around. She’s a busy person with class presentations all the time. But when she gets the time to settle down with students, she finds herself working with everyone from different backgrounds, ages, and stories. If you are someone who is a couple of credits shy from graduating, or is just returning back to school, Janet would be your person! Her positivity has driven me to want to schedule more appointments with her to open my mind to all my different possibilities in life.

Sherrill Yeaton is such a sweet counselor. She works closely with the Multicultural Center at UMD. So if you’re a person of color like me, I highly suggest you speak with Sherrill. I have met with her numerous times. Every time we meet, I just end up wanting to go back again and again. She’s so great at helping me find the resources I need to be where I want to be. She’s always patiently waiting for me to finish blabbering, then shooting me with awesome ideas for me to learn more about my career.

Another fun person that I always get carried away talking to and laughing with is Ellen Hatfield. She does amazing work with managing all of our office’s social media. If you’re confused as to what you want to do, and you’re an incoming freshman or beginning college, I highly suggest sitting down with Ellen. She’s very down to earth. I remembered being quite lost at my first job fair. As soon as I saw Ellen there, she helped guide me to network. I not only gained connections with employers, but also with students at the U of M Twin Cities in such an easy and fun way. Thanks to Ellen, I can’t wait until my next job fair!

Lastly, I would like to mention Sue Holm. She’s so kind and has such a welcoming smile. Speaking with Sue has made me want to use her as one of my main resources as I get closer to graduating. She is the match for you if you’re looking to pursue graduate or professional school. I see so many students who are looking to attend medical school use Sue as guidance. She honestly knows what she’s doing and I’m excited to bond with her more.

I hope after reading a little bit about each counselor you will have an idea of who to meet with. Although they tend to work with more students under a certain category, do not feel like you are just obligated to see one career counselor. Their different personalities might actually determine who you want to go to since they all are open minded people. They won’t judge you no matter where you come from. They are just there to listen and help you reach your goals and succeed. By working at the front desk, I’ve realized many UMD student faces are becoming more familiar because they’ve been coming back to our office. It makes me feel happy that not only do I feel these awesome career counselors are doing their job right, but others demonstrate it as well!

Read PJay’s other posts

Photo source: Unsplash | Olu Eletu

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