Coaching certifications and a personal approach to advising position the Career Development team as a go-to resource for students past and present.
Don’t be surprised if a visit with McCourt’s three-person career development team yields some introspection.
“I like to tell students that I ask a lot of questions, but I don’t give a lot of answers,” says McCourt’s Director of Career Development and Alumni Engagement Briana Green. “We’re here to help them peel back the layers, not tell them what the layers are or what they should be.”
This wasn’t always the case for Green, who has worked in the higher education career development space for over 20 years. However, the turning point came when Green completed Georgetown’s Leadership Coaching certificate in 2020.
“It helped me recognize that the most powerful information typically comes from ourselves,” Green says. “That creates empowerment within the student, because they recognize, ‘I can use these tools the next time that I’m up against something challenging.’”
Green reflects on an interaction with a student who began talking about what they were on track to do. She presented a new question to the advisee: What do you want to do? “They paused and said, ‘no one’s ever asked me that before. I’ve never asked myself that,’” says Green. The student shared aspirations that were a divergence from their pre- scribed pathway. But after considering Green’s questions, they set their sights on pursuing their new goals.
Beyond the holistic approach to advising, Green points to the experience her team brings to their roles. Assistant Director of Career Development Lynda Jones is certified by the International Coaching Federation and has decades of experience in the public and private sector. Meanwhile, Assistant Director of Career Services Daniel Noel’s background in advising undergraduates provides a refreshing perspective.
Career development services also include classic offerings such as resume tailoring, mock interviews and networking — or Green’s preferred description of “building relationships in an authentic way.” Services are not limited to current students. The team’s expertise is available to McCourt Hoyas at all stages of their careers, whether they are looking to pivot to a new path or level-up within their current industry.
“There’s been a lot of transition with folks in their careers, especially with COVID and all the changes to the way that we work happening,” says Green. “We spend so much time shape-shifting ourselves to fit whatever the job is, that we forget that we can actually find the job that fits into the kind of life we want to live.”