Joining us this time around is Brittany Bailey, the new Career Consultant for the College of Family and Consumer Sciences and the School of Social Work. She joined the Career Center staff in June 2013 and we’re super excited to have her on board! She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, specializing in Student Affairs. I recently had the opportunity to talk with her about herself as well as her work in Career Services . . .
Q. How did you get into the field of Career Services?
A: My journey to Career Services is a winding one. I, like a lot of my students, was very “open” to practically everything with no real direction in mind. I changed my major 5 times in 4 years! I don’t suggest that to anyone else. However, each side street I took helped me to develop skills that I now use every day. To make a very long story short, I discovered my passion for career services during my graduate program in student affairs. Through a service-learning project I partnered with the Mississippi State Career Center to develop and implement a program targeting undecided students. From that experience, I developed relationships that later resulted in a graduate assistantship within the office. I fell in love with the work that I did and the students I was able help.
Q. What is the best part of your day as a Career Consultant?
A: Career Services has the ability to reach every student at every level which is my favorite part of the job. It also fosters relationships that can greatly impact a student’s life over time. The best part of my day as a Career Consultant is helping students feel confident and empowered in just a short hour. The majority of my day is spent helping student discover resources, take-advantage of opportunities, and providing encouragement, support, and constructive feedback. I want to motivate students to blaze their own trails while communicating my belief in their ability to reach their goals. I try to look for the best attributes of students and relay that message back to them. It is my hope that small motivation and positive talk will leave a small legacy in the life of each student I meet with.
Q: What programs have you planned, are planning, or are excited to plan for students?
A: This semester has given me the opportunity to really take advantage of all the excellent talent surrounding me and soak up all of their great ideas and knowledge. I have had opportunities to partner with other consultants in their efforts for the semester which has really helped get me rolling on my own initiatives. I am really trying to focus on my students and building relationships within Family and Consumer Sciences and Social Work. I have had many opportunities to get in front of a large portion of my students already this semester through partnerships with faculty members within my departments. I am also seeing to partner with the Office of International Education (OIE) and recently completed a program with them to help students market their study abroad experiences. Moving forward in the semester, I will be helping with the Careers In Counseling and Therapy event, further OIE initiatives, and finally my biggest event for the year will be the Financial Planning, Housing & Consumer Economics Internship/Career Fair in January.
Q: What is your biggest goal as a Career Consultant? (Personally? For students? For the Career Center?)
A: My biggest goal as a career consultant this year is to build relationships. I want to increase my visibility within my departments and on campus. I have already begun establishing relationships, but I want to further reach out to my students and faculty members through new and interesting programing. I also hope to be a creative contributor to the current Career Center initiatives this year as well as work to fill potential gaps as they arise.
Q. What is your favorite thing to do around Athens?
A: I LOVE to go to the movies, people watch, and read! Athens is a great town for all three! I really enjoy seeing new blockbusters at any of the great Athens theaters. I also really enjoy spending time downtown or at the Botanical Gardens with a good book!
Q. If you could give all students one piece of career-related advice, what would it be?
A: Be a sponge! Take advantage every opportunity, experience, happen-stance, and meeting! Learn as much as you can and always keep the big picture in mind. Every opportunity has the potential to lead to another!