About Walden Career Services

Senior Director of Career Services, Walden University

Meet Our New Marketing Graduate Assistant: Dan Ambrosio

photo Dan Ambrosio

Dan Ambrosio

Please join me in welcoming our new Marketing Graduate Assistant, Dan Ambrosio!  He is currently working on a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) with a concentration in Marketing.  He began taking marketing courses while pursuing his MBA in international business.  Having developed a passion for marketing, particularly in the areas of health and wellness, Dan decided to further develop his skills.

While Dan is a fairly new student, he says that he has enjoyed his Walden University experience so far.  “I was fortunate enough to attend my first residency during my second week of my first course.  The residency allowed me to interact with faculty and classmates and it helped me to get a better understanding of Walden and the Doctoral program I am in.” He said, “I believe that we can all learn from one another and Walden does an excellent job of creating a challenging and rigorous academic environment.”

 One of the things that Dan likes about his new position in Career Services is learning more about our services and resources. He expressed that he hopes “to reach out to Walden students and help them as much as possible to utilize the great benefits of the Career Services Center,” and “provide students with the tools and information to help them succeed during and after their studies.”

He shares his favorite Career Services resources:

  1. Career Connections Events:  This tool allows students the opportunity to interact with students, faculty and alumni.  It is an excellent way for students to discuss aspects of their careers they may want to improve or change.
  2. OptimalResume:  Creating a powerful resume can make a big difference in a job application.  OptimalResume provides students with the resources to appeal to potential employers so that they can increase their chances of getting a job.
  3. Appointments:  Walden Career Services Staff are always available to help Walden students succeed during and after their degree.  The Career Services team will provide students with information pertaining to career options.  This is a great way to open the door to unlimited career potential!
  4. Interviewing Resources:  This is a great resource at Walden because it allows students to explore in-depth information pertaining to interview questions, tips, and preparation.  First impressions are very important which is why it is necessary to understand how interviews typically work so that you can be confident and prepared.

 Dan currently lives in Germany.  After completing his bachelor’s degree with a double major in English and German, he booked a one-way flight to Germany where he lived for over three years.  During that time, he taught business English at Inlingua Language School.  He traveled to over 18 different companies in northwestern Germany where he taught business English.  He moved back to the United States in October 2015 and lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for a year and a half, and then moved back to Germany in April 2017. Dan plans to eventually return to the US again to begin his career in marketing.  He enjoys traveling, studying, riding motorcycles, and working out.

Written by Angie Lira, Senior Career Services Advisor, and Dan Ambrosio, Career Services Graduate Assistant

photo Angie Lira      photo Dan Ambrosio

Welcome Technology Graduate Assistant, Martin Culberson!

Martin Culberson

Martin Culberson

The Career Services Center is thrilled to introduce our new Technology Graduate Assistant, Martin Culberson, who brings many years of experience in educational technology and website design to our department.  In the following interview, Mr. Culberson shares his background, passion for technology, and favorite career resources.

Dina Bergren: What program did you complete at Walden and what degree are you currently pursuing?

Martin Culberson:  I completed my M.S. in Education–Integrating Technology in the Classroom degree in 2015, and I am currently pursuing my Doctor of Information Technology (DIT) degree.

 Dina Bergren: What do you enjoy most about being a Walden doctoral student?

 Martin Culberson:  I enjoy the pattern of conducting hours of research punctuated by collaboration with peers and instructors who are doing the same.  This activity may sound tedious to some, but my goal is to make the research come alive and that’s exciting!

 Dina Bergren: What is your technology background?

Martin Culberson:  I’ve always been interested in technology.  As a boy in the 70’s, I built a science fair project featuring punch cards, something I had learned when reading about IBM.  In the 90’s, with the explosion of the computer age and internet, I spent a lot of time working on hardware.  I naturally evolved into software and, in 2013, I designed and programmed a Learning Management System (LMS) for a large K-12 school.  It was a fascinating project and, by simply using a little bit of creativity, I came up with an algorithm that was a big step forward.  This experience led to an interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality, two fields holding much promise for education. 

Dina Bergren:  How do you hope to contribute to the Career Services Center as a Technology Graduate Assistant?

Martin Culberson:  The Career Services Center team have great ideas for building a more dynamic website.  A great website is really the convergence of creative and technical skills into a cohesive presentation.  There should be a dynamic factor in the style, constrained by an aesthetic vision that hints at the underlying depth of real substance.  My hope is to contribute to this creative and technical effort in a meaningful way.

Dina Bergren:  What are your top 5 favorite resources on the Career Services Center website?

Martin Culberson:  My top 5 resources are:

  1. Resumes and CVs tab/OptimalResume. This information is real-world, and it works. I’ve rebuilt my resume and cover letters with these resources and will use OptimalResume in the future.
  2. Quick Answers. If you haven’t tried this tool, I highly recommend it.  Use the Quick Answers box on the Career Services Center home page, type in “resume,” and look at the great information you immediately get for this topic.  QuickAnswers is a powerful search tool.
  3. Webinars. The archived webinars resource is very popular with Walden students, and with good reason.  I’ve used the cover letter and LinkedIn webinars to improve skills in those areas.  The Archived Webinars section is another example of how Career Services delivers real-world tools to address students’ needs.
  4. Quick Start Videos. I watched a video on interview strategies before a sweat-inducing final interview last year.  It was very helpful and gave me confidence in my strategy.
  5. Career Spotlights. It is inspiring to see real people achieving the same goals you hold.  A smiling face and a story of success are great motivators to get you through the tough times.

Dina Bergren:  What do you like to do in your free time? 

Martin Culberson:  My girlfriend and I both have very busy schedules, so we look forward to movies, nice meals, and day trips. I also enjoy writing, and recently published a science fiction novel – I’m now wrestling with the sequel.  Also, I’ve been into strength training for many years, and find lifting heavy weights to be good therapy for a day spent studying!

Dina Bergren:  Anything else you’d like to share about yourself?

Martin Culberson: I’m very happy as a student and graduate assistant with Walden.  I encourage everyone to visit the Career Services Center and look around!

 

Written by Walden Technology Graduate Assistant, Martin Culberson

Martin Culberson

Edited by Associate Director of Career Services, Dina Bergren

Webinar setup photo Dina

Eleven Tips from a Corporate Recruiter

Helpful Tips. Magnifying Glass on Old Paper.

My professional development plan includes attending monthly meetings of the professional organization, Career Planning & Adult Development (CPAD). I enjoy attending these early morning meetings the first Friday of the month and connecting with colleagues in the career development field. Last month’s CPAD speaker was a corporate recruiter who shared information on the hiring process from her perspective. Here is a summary of her advice for job seekers:

  • Focus on the requirements of the position and the company. Compare your resume to the job description, and show how you are an excellent fit.
  • Include your geographical location on your resume.
  • Include a cover letter that states the position of interest.
  • Referrals are “golden” so if you know someone at the organization, let them know you are applying for the position and ask for a recommendation.
  • LinkedIn and Indeed.com are [my] most common sources for applicants.
  • Check your “Junk” email. Important emails can go into your “Junk” folder, and by the time you see them, it may be too late.
  • Respond quickly, ideally within 4 hours; 24 hours is too long.
  • Every interaction with the recruiter is important.
  • Be prepared to verbally articulate how you are a good fit and your interest in the position.
  • Check back no more than once per week; email is best with a brief statement reminding the recruiter of your interest and your qualifications.
  • See the recruiter as a partner in the process.

Keep in mind that hiring managers expect recruiters to send them highly qualified candidates who fit the requirements of the job and culture of the organization, so the more you can show how you are an excellent fit, the higher the odds that your application will result in an interview.

For more information on career management and job search strategies, view Career Services’ Quick Start videos at http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/careerservices/quickstartvideos

Written by Denise Pranke, Senior Career Services Advisor

Denise

A Transformative Career Journey (Part 2)

In 2013, we featured a blog story on Emma, a MS Psychology alumna who is pursuing a PhD in Psychology- Health Psychology program at Walden.  We recently reconnected with Emma and learned that she completed her CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training) certification through Emory University’s Emory-Tibet Partnership and taught CBCT® to individuals in recovery, schoolteachers, parents of autistic children, and HIV+ clients participating in research studies. We asked Emma to share how she gained teaching skills and a deeper understanding of health and wellness issues through this transformative experience.

Emma B

Emma Brooks

Dina Bergren:  What is CBCT®?

Emma: CBCT® is a secular training method that uses several steps to cultivate compassion and is based on techniques from the Indo-Tibetan tradition. CBCT® was developed at Emory University by Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, PhD using meditative practices from the Lojong tradition.  According to scientific research, compassion can be developed as well as heightened.

Dina Bergren: How did you learn about Emory’s Tibetan Partnership program?

Emma: I learned about the Emory-Tibet Partnership program while completing a residency program in marriage and family therapy.  I expressed my interest in contemplative practices and Tibetan traditions to one of the on-staff licensed therapists.  She informed me about the work in this area taking place at Emory University.  I researched the program and registered for an 8-week training course in CBCT®.

Dina Bergren: What prior knowledge/experience helped you qualify for this opportunity?

Emma: My resume reflected my master’s thesis, The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Well-Being and Depression, and internship at Moore House School of Medicine where I worked on a field research study using Transcendental Meditation. I obtained this internship opportunity through networking while I was working on my master’s degree at Walden University. Also, I included my yoga teacher training experience, marriage and family therapy residence experience at the Link Counseling Center, and my introductory 8-week CBCT® course.  In addition, I listed my pursuit of a doctoral degree in Health Psychology and experience as a student researcher on a published research project at Walden University.

Dina Bergren: What instructional skills did you gain and how did you impact your clients? 

Emma: Well, I quickly learned that the presentation skills I used in the business world were different from skills in the teaching environment. My presentation skills shifted from PowerPoint discussions to experiential and lecture style presentations. I learned how to create lesson plans, improvise, find the right balance of instruction when co-teaching, and recognize the delicate dance between teaching and learning where the teacher is also the student.

As a CBCT® instructor, I enhanced my active listening skills as well as developed my ability to take pedagogy and apply it to everyday life situations. I learned that classroom management is a skill that is forever evolving because no two classes are exactly alike. It was important for me to understand my audience’s learning styles and identify what worked and didn’t work in the first session, while also being open to an organic process to emerge. Hence, I tapped into the intuitive aspects of the teaching process especially when lesson plans didn’t go as planned.

Dina Bergren:  What research studies did you conduct related to CBCT®?

Emma: I taught on two separate research studies which applied CBCT® to the following populations: parents of autistic children and HIV+ individuals. The studies reinforced what I learned during my coursework and experience as a student researcher at Walden University. As an instructor and educator, the experience allowed me to see the research process from a new perspective as I was playing one role within the research process protocol.  This experience felt different from my student research experience as the interviewer. Also, I was required to take the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) training for the research study conducted by the Marcus Institute, which was very informative and helpful as I continued my dissertation research as the principal investigator.

Dina Bergren:  How did your work at the Emory-Tibet partnership influence your career journey?

Emma: This experience contributed to my dissertation progress and enhanced my teaching skills. I met many wonderful people, scholars, and physicians by becoming a part of the CBCT® community.  The CBCT® community provided me with an extended web of connections and expanded my awareness in unexplainable ways, and for this I am grateful.  I have no doubt that my future will be bright!

Written by Walden Doctoral Student, Emma Brooks
Emma B

Edited by Associate Director of Career Services, Dina BergrenDina

Adventure Starts Where the Plans End!

Adventure quote

I just celebrated my 10th anniversary at the best job of my career. I love my work team, colleagues, mission, and my doctoral business degree program at Walden University. OK, maybe Finance class – not so much. 🙂

In February, I had the opportunity to leave cold and wintry Minnesota for two weeks to work virtually in Florida. As a transplant from a moderate climate with four calendar-based seasons, I have hibernated like a bear during Minnesota’s winters. Minnesota is a gorgeous and very under-rated place. I live across from a beautiful lake in a park-like setting. Yet I’ve struggled with winter’s isolation and cabin fever each year. Additionally, native Minnesotans are lucky to have very solid, close social circles of family and friends, so it can be challenging for transplants to grow strong social ties. I started a Meetup called “Twin Cities Icebreakers” for small group gatherings for folks to get to know each other on a regular basis. The group filled to capacity very quickly.

After hitting my “tenth anniversary in the tundra,” I visited a long-time friend in Naples, Florida. I am fortunate to be able to work virtually, so I wanted to explore what it might be like to live there. Serendipity struck – there was an open house for a bright, pretty condo for sale in the building next door to my friend’s place. When I walked up the stairs of that condo, I fell in love. Yes, you’re thinking – winter in Florida – what’s not to love? There was so much more to it than just that. I loved the vision of living next door to my longtime friend Chris, someone I had known 25 years whom I could pal around with spur of the moment. It felt like winning the social wellness lottery!

So I’m moving to Naples in May! I’m thrilled to keep my role as Career Services Senior Director at Walden and finish my DBA degree. On my spare time, I’ll be building a professional and social network from scratch – I’m already scouting out LinkedIn groups and Meetup groups.

Sometimes quick decisions based on intuition and the heart are the best ones! To quote my hero Helen Keller, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing!”

Originally posted on LinkedIn, March 16, 2017

Lisa Cook, Senior Director of Career Services and DBA Student

Lisa

Posted in Uncategorized

Career Shift from K-12 Education to Serving Clients with Severe Mental Illness

kristie

Kristie

Kristie is a Walden MS Psychology and PhD in Psychology – Clinical Psychology alumna who started her professional career as a science teacher in the public schools.   How did her journey lead to a post-doctoral psychologist position at a county mental health clinic?  As a K-12 educator, Kristie taught many students, including developmentally and emotionally challenged children in special education.  She cultivated a passion for helping children with Asperger’s, Turner Syndrome, and other developmental disorders learn and thrive in the classroom.  This experience prompted her to enroll in the MS Psychology program at Walden and take steps to transition into a clinical psychology career.

Kristie’s MS Psychology degree provided her the fundamental knowledge of psychological theory which led to the PhD in Psychology- Clinical Psychology program.  To meet her field experience requirements, Kristie sought a practicum at a medical treatment center where she worked under supervision with clients in treatment for opiate dependence.  Kristie shared that she was nervous about working with this challenging population at first; however, after gaining confidence in her abilities and skills in assessment, motivational interviewing, and cognitive-behavioral therapy, she found the experience to be tremendously rewarding. Seeing clients with addiction heal and overcome personal challenges inspired Kristie to remain at the treatment center after her practicum ended.  She later advanced into a Supervising Counselor role and completed her doctoral internship at the same facility.

In 2016, Kristie earned her PhD in Psychology and advanced into a post-doctoral position at a county hospital where she is serving outpatient clients with severe mental illness including schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and clinical depression.  Through her academic journey and career progression, she built knowledge and skills in risk assessment, crisis management, and therapeutic interventions to effectively treat a wide range of clients in multiple settings.  Her next step is to complete licensing requirements in the State of California and advance her career as a clinical psychologist.

What advice did Kristie offer Walden students who are considering social services careers?  She commented, “Do your research on what you’re going for.  Your career and education are not something you want to take lightly.”  Kristie suggested targeting entry-level positions such as “case manager” to gain experience working with children and adults in a variety of settings including housing programs, life skills training programs, and treatment centers.  She also recommended getting involved in a state psychological association and the American Psychological Association to meet psychologists, therapists, counselors, and other social services professionals; and attend professional development events.  Finally, she emphasized taking advantage of what Walden has to offer, including working with the Career Services department to learn how to market your professional skills and set attainable career goals.

We wish Kristie success as she continues to impact clients and improve county systems through her clinical expertise and commitment to mentally ill clients.

Interested in making a career transition into Psychology or a related field?

 Written by Dina Bergren, Associate Director of Career Services

Dina

Creative Networking Strategies for Landing a Field Experience Site

Jennifer Wisneski, a Walden PhD in Psychology ̶ Clinical Psychology student, landed a Field Experience site by connecting with a potential site supervisor through LinkedIn.  She is our guest blogger for this post.

jennifer

Jennifer Wisneski

 

The Challenge of Finding a Practicum

As I completed my coursework for the Clinical Psychology PhD program and started working on my dissertation, I knew it was time to explore field experience requirements.  I started researching potential sites one year prior to securing a practicum and faced several challenges along the way.  In my small town, I found very few sites with a full-time psychologist to provide supervision.  Most psychologists I contacted worked in private practice or were close to retirement, neither willing to take on a student.  Other sites made it difficult to get past the clerical staff to speak directly to the psychology department.

With the increased need for mental health services, it was incredibly surprising to exhaust my list of prospective sites in a few short months.  I reached out to the Field Experience department at Walden, and they directed me to a website which manages a database of internships and allows students to apply for multiple opportunities.  To utilize the database search, I needed to create a profile and upload my resume.  After working for the same employer for the past nine years, I realized my resume was outdated.  I decided to contact Career Services for help.


3 Helpful Tips from Career Services

During my initial phone call with Career Services, I received a brief overview of available services and learned what to expect from career advising appointments.   The knowledge my career advisor managed to pack into the 45-minute session was well worth every minute!  Specifically, I gained the following three tips from my career advisor to help me in my Field Experience search:

  • First, I received many suggestions on how to improve my CV by using strong action words, being specific about my experience, and strengthening my accomplishments to showcase my level of professionalism in the human services field.
  • Second, my career advisor suggested I build a profile on LinkedIn. I was unsure about using LinkedIn, but I was willing to try anything to network while searching for a practicum site.  My career advisor taught me how to search for people in my field of interest using LinkedIn, which helped me make connections with potential site supervisors.
  • Third, I learned how to set up a career portfolio that I could bring with me to interviews. I developed a portfolio to showcase my accomplishments, professional interests, and samples of my work.

A Surprise Call from a New LinkedIn Connection

It was incredible how quickly opportunities opened up after a few sessions working with Career Services.  After I updated my CV and set up my LinkedIn profile, I started to connect with local professionals in the mental health field.  To my amazement, within days of establishing my profile, I received a phone call from one of my new contacts on LinkedIn.  She had just started in her role as Chief Psychologist at a local psychiatric hospital that week.  I had been trying to set up a practicum at this site for over a year with no success.  She told me the summary of my qualifications on my CV caught her attention.  Within two weeks, I met with her for an interview.  Referencing my portfolio during the interview made the process stress-free, and I secured the practicum position during the interview.


Ready for the Next Career Step

Having an updated CV, portfolio, and LinkedIn profile has allowed me to expand my professional network in many ways.  I interviewed with three other sites for practicum and now I have several sites to consider for internship.  This process has also improved my confidence and interviewing skills, and expanded my professional network.  In addition to establishing a plan to finish my field experience and graduate in 2018, I have a great outlook to the start of my professional career!

Written by Jennifer Wisneski, PhD in Psychology-Clinical Psychology student, Walden University. 

jennifer