Career Services tackles dreams of all kinds

Laura Christopher

Every kid does it.  Kids in small towns and kids in big cities, kids in mansions and kids in the projects.

No matter how different kids may be they all have one thing in common: all kids have, at one time or another, dreamed of what they want to be when they grow up.  Maybe you forced your friends to play “sick” as you nursed them back to health as their make-believe doctor. Or you stood in front of a mirror and sang with a brush in your hand, pretending to be on stage.  It doesn’t matter what the dream was, we are all guilty of fantasizing about our ideal careers.  

But eventually, we dreamers do grow up and the world is not always what we expected it to be.

“I always wanted to work with the dolphins at Sea World.  Always,” student Stef Luckow said.  I still think it would be a wonderful job.  But I grew up and realized that my biology skills are lacking.  And I knew I just had to give up on my dream.”  The majority of students have done the same as she did and left their dreams by the wayside.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, according to Villanova’s Career Services staff.  This is a department especially designed to cater to students’ dreams and ambitions.   Career counselors are always happy to discuss ways of achieving goals and dreams, no matter how far off they may seem. “If a person doesn’t follow their interest or passion, then they’ll never be happy in their career,” career counselor Bridget Flowers said.  “We never discourage a student’s dream; we only encourage.”

“Exactly, it isn’t our job to steer students.  It’s our job to hold their hands through the career process,” added fellow career counselor, Maggie Songer.  “In the end, our goal is to empower students.”

The counselors at Career Services treat each case differently, according to what the student wants and needs, making sure each student feels like an individual.  The counselors do not just deal with choosing majors and setting up interviews. In addition to these basics, they deal with the whole person and what they may be going through as they search for a career – fears, doubts and insecurities.  Career Services makes sure the student knows all of the opportunities available to him or her.  

The only challenge is getting the students to go to career services. “Most students don’t take advantage of the great resources they have in us,” said Bowers. “They don’t take the time to come in and see what we have to offer.” Even if students have changed their dreams, the counselors can help.  They understand that choosing a career is scary and they know that many students are uncertain. Career Services offers a “strong interests inventory.” The survey provides a background for the counselor on the student.  It does not tell a student what career to pursue, but it provides a springboard for discussion of opportunities. “We give students tools and help clear roadblocks on their career path,” Songer said. “We do everything in our power to help a student’s dream come true.” With Career Services on campus, it seems no one has to give up on a fantasy, passion or dream. That starry-eyed kid in each of us never really goes away.  We need our dreams to get us through every endless paper, every long class and every impossible exam.  Truly, we came here to facilitate our dreams – and Career Services can help every step of the way.