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Prep for the next step

CBS Career Coach Rebecca Christy helps students prepare for life after graduation

How long have you been at the U of M?

I started working at the U in June of 2013 as an academic advisor in CSE. Before that, I was a career counselor for pre-health and pre-law students at the University of Virginia.

What does your role as career counselor entail?
My role is certainly evolving! Right now I’m focusing on some of the basic career needs of students like resume/ cover letter review, but one of my favorite areas of career development is the exploration process so I’m dedicating a lot of time to researching and learning more about graduate school and industry opportunities for CBS students. One of my other goals this semester is to participate in informal focus groups with students to learn more about the services our students want and need. 

If you had to give CBS students one piece of advice for career preparation, what would it be?
The self-reflection process is invaluable to your career development. Most people do not have a linear career path where they make one decision about what they want to do and then diligently work towards that career.  I encourage students to appreciate the setbacks and experiences that show them what they don't want to do just as much as the positive experiences that reaffirm their interests.  Eventually those roadblocks will help you make a more informed decision about what's important to you in a future graduate program or career.

You went to middle school in Australia.  Can you tell us about your experience?
Yes! It was a learning experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Although at the time I was more concerned about being in the awkward middle school stage and fitting in, I eventually realized that I learned a lot of valuable lessons about my own culture through living my day-to-day life in another one. My time in Australia is one of the biggest reasons I’m such a strong advocate for studying abroad. In graduate school I participated in a three week study abroad trip in the United Kingdom to learn about higher education. Even in that short of time, I gained incredible insight into the different expectations people have the college experience.