Many people have no clue where they will work after they graduate, let alone the path needed to get there. All the way from Detroit, Michigan, Shakira Smiler is here to lend a helping hand. She is a new graduate assistant for the UGA Career Center and she is ready to make an impact! With a charming personality and a Bachelor’s degree in General Studies, Shakira hopes to provide guidance for students within their career development.

How did you get into the field of career services?

               I needed a job a year after I graduated from college so I met with my career counselor at the University of Michigan. She told me about a year long program as a Career Advisor. I got involved with the program and as I applied to graduate school I also applied to the Graduate Assistant program offered by the UGA Career Center, and I got the job!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

               I love helping students, especially the ones who do not know what to do. I enjoy helping with the guidance process, by helping a student who was completely blank, to having a better structure on their career development.

Do you have any helpful career development advice?

               Do not be afraid to ask people 1000 questions. Google can only offer so much, and teachers can only teach so much, but by actually talking to people already working in the field you can gain a realistic understanding.

What was your first part-time job?

               My first job was with Little Caesar’s as a cashier, and I would occasionally make pizzas. I smelled like pizza every day and I would have to wash the dishes without any rubber gloves!

What do you love to do in Athens?

               Athens reminds me of Ann Arbor; a college town, with lots of school spirit and people who love football. It’s a cute little town.

What is something unique about you?

               I went to a performing arts school and played the clarinet from 4th grade to my senior year of high school.

Why do the CDI’s love Shakira?

               “Shakira always has a great attitude and I love the different hair styles she uses for her natural hair. But most importantly, Shakira is a great person to just relax and chat with, and offers great tips and advice on how to become better as a future employee and a college student.”