Name: Amber Meyers
Role at the Career Center: Assistant Director, Career Exploration
Do you teach any classes?:
Not at BC currently, but I have taught career and academic planning courses in the past.
Where are you from?:
How long have you been at BC?
Since August, so about 9 months.
How did you get started exploring potential careers?
I knew that I wanted to major in psychology, but I spent most of undergrad exploring the ways I could apply my major after graduation. To learn more about the intersection of psych and business, I interviewed alums about the work they were doing in HR and industrial organizational psychology. I worked on research with faculty and interned within HR. During my internships I found I wasn’t working with people as much as I had hoped to. So I reflected on what kind of environment I wanted to be in, and the answer for me was a college campus. Part of the reason for that is because everyone is working on goals and growth, creating a positive and energizing environment. I had also talked to faculty and staff on campus, and they recommended the Higher Ed grad program at Canisius.
What factors have contributed to your interest in higher ed career services?
Stemming from my HR internships, Career Services was a natural progression within Higher Ed. I worked in Career Centers throughout grad school, and then my first position after grad school was at Purdue University in the Exploratory Studies program, which had about 900 students. It was more academic in nature, and I worked with students who were trying to pick a major out of the 200 that were available.
What are some of your favorite aspects of your job?
Meeting with students, and the educational piece: being able to educate students on career readiness skills and resources. I also love hearing their stories and learning about their interests, experiences, and skills and how they might want to use them in the future.
What are your biggest challenges?
Higher Ed, like many industries, is always changing and growing. One initiative schools are moving towards is finding ways to service all student’s needs. For example, in what capacity do we help grad students, and in what capacity do we have services for student veterans, etc. Fortunately, we have a lot of programs at BC that help with career development, like the Winter Job Shadow program and Endeavor, but I’ve also worked for schools that don’t have those resources and could really benefit from them.
What are you involved with at BC?
I am currently a volunteer for the Read Aloud program, which means I go to an elementary school to read to the 3rd grade students about once a month. The last book they wanted me to read was The Book Without Pictures by BJ Novak. It’s kind of funny how different it is from working with college students. Apparently my monkey robot voice isn’t all that great.
What advice would you give to students about finding:
- The right workplace fit?
- It’s a never ending cycle of reflecting and exploring. You aren’t typically planning from now to retirement, but more so for your next step after graduation. Within that next step, much like you are now, you’ll be reflecting on what you want more or less of until you find the right fit. You don’t always know until you’ve tried something; be that a role, organization, company, etc. I panic less now since I graduated grad school because I’ve learned to deal with the constant transitions in life and have realized that everything will eventually work out.
- Ways both to prepare and to enter this field?
- Since students are so busy, it’s helpful to start reflecting and exploring career options earlier so that you can be more intentional with how to spend your time. Conduct online research, volunteer, shadow, and talk with professionals and alums to explore areas you may want to seek experience in so that you know better what you are looking for in an internship or entry-level job.
What is your niche thing that students can come to talk to you about:
I mostly meet with first and second-year students, but I see a lot of juniors and seniors regarding exploring career options, especially since the cycle of exploration is continual. I would say come talk to me about how to explore those options and gain new experiences, and to reflect on the experiences you’ve already had. The goal would be, as a staff member, to help you to get the most out of your student experience here.
What activities do you enjoy outside of your job at BC?
Travel. I’m going to Germany, Austria, and Italy this summer. I’m really hoping they’re like the Instagram photos.
What’s your favorite meme right now?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Growing into adulthood and being able to take care of myself entirely, being independent and taking risks, moving to new cities and places, and doing things I have always wanted to do, like travel. Once you get through school, you can actually go through your bucket list and create new goals!
Who are your heroes in real life?
Mentors that I’ve had in Higher Education. I’ve found some really great mentors in the field through my travels and working in different schools, and it’s nice to have someone you can have your own professional development conversations with.