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Event To Showcase Professional 'Stories'

Nov. 7, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Marissa Nunez

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During the first year at college there are many obstacles for incoming students to overcome, and one that puzzles many is the decision on what major to choose and what to do with their degree once they graduate.

To help struggling Bearkats, Sam Houston State University’s Career Services will host the second annual “What is Your Story?” career panel event on Tuesday (Nov. 12) in the Lowman Student Center.

The National Career and Development event will include four mixed panels broken up into morning and afternoon sessions. A social services and education panel will be from 9-10:15 a.m. in LSC Room 304; a business and community relations panel, from 10:30-11:45 a.m. in LSC Room 320; a STEM panel, from 1-2:15 p.m. in LSC Room 304; and a public and governmental services panel, from 2:30-3:45 p.m. in LSC Room 320.

“The idea is to have professionals come out and tell their story about how they discovered their career paths and what it takes to be successful in the work force,” said Career Services assistant director and career counselor Cenaiyda Carranza. “We hope to inspire and allow students to engage with professionals from various fields who have walked in their shoes and who also made choices to explore possibilities.

“Students who realize that their degree is an important stepping stone into many career choices that may or may not be related to their major allows them freedom to look into careers that they may have not even considered,” she said.

Each panel is designed to cater to specific fields of work and will be made up of professionals from all over the state, as well as members from the Bearkat family.

Some of the panelists who will be sitting in on the social services and education panel will include the Dean of Students John Yarabeck; professor in the department of educational leadership and counseling Evelyn Fitzgerald; SAAFE House advocacy coordinator Theresa Fusaro; and SHSU alumna Veronica Medina.

For the business and community relations panel will be student legal adviser Gene Roberts; SHSU alumnus and financial adviser for Ameriprise J.D. Davis; and Jaime Lopasky, auditor and alumnus with Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Sitting in on the STEM panel will be math department chair Brian Loft; adjunct chemistry professor David Thompson; chair of the nursing program Anne Stiles; and the coordinator for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative Eddie Gisemba.

And sitting in on the public and governmental services panel will be Warner Chair of Journalism Peter Roussel; Katina Douglas-Marshall, SHSU alumna and supervisor for child support division for the Texas attorney general; and certified specialist with adult protective services Chriselda Luna-Rodgers.

“We have a wealth of expertise here at SHSU and within our surrounding communities, and we want to highlight what they do in order to give students clearer perspectives in work and life,” Carranza said.

Other speakers will include a representative from Target, the game warden from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, a surgeon from Texas Surgery Center, the director of anesthesiology and critical care for the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, and many others.

There will also be an informational seminar with U.S. Department of State diplomat-in-residence John Roberts after the final career panel in Academic Building IV Suite 210 from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

‘What is Your Story?’ is one of many events Career Services will be hosting throughout the week, all aimed at promoting diversity and highlighting the importance of career and personal development.

They will also be having an informational table at The Woodlands Center on Nov. 20, from 2-4 p.m.

In addition, students who are in need of career counseling or help with resumes can utilize walk-in hours on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon and on Wednesdays from 1-4 p.m. throughout the semester.

The week’s events are mainly targeted at freshmen and sophomores, but students of all classifications are encouraged to attend.

“We are really encouraging everyone to come out and look at different careers and to really explore their interests and think about how it could possibly lead to a satisfying career,” Carranza said. “I think the sooner they start preparing for the work force and figuring out what their interests, strengths, and skill sets are, the more opportunities they will have upon graduation.”

She said career development is about preparation and working on the “nuts and bolts,” such as knowing how to develop a strong resume, cover letter, job searching and interview skills, and that students should start building these as early as possible.

“I suggest to students to start taking small steps toward their personal career goals so that they do not feel as overwhelmed by the time graduation comes,” Carranza said.

For more information, or to make an appointment for assistance, call Career Services at 936.294.1713.

 

 

 

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