Meet Rachel Greenberg, Director of Career Education and Strategy

RachelGreenberg.pngName: Rachel Greenberg

Role at the Career Center: 

Director of Career Education and Strategy

Where are you from?

Worcester, MA

How long have you been at BC?

5.5 years

How did you get started exploring potential careers?

I worked for a couple of years after college in Marketing types of functions and during that time kind of realized that those weren’t good fits for me in terms of my own skills and personality. I was actually laid off from my second job after school and decided to take that as an opportunity to explore what I really wanted to do. I had been a Psych major undergrad, and enjoyed the idea of working with college-aged students around that transition period from the college to the world. I knew that education had always been really important to me, and something I really valued in terms of thinking about my own skills and interests. I enjoyed having conversations with my friends who were thinking about their own careers. So after a lot of self-reflection and conversations with other people whose opinions I valued, I decided that Higher Ed would be a good place for me, and specifically that I wanted to go into Career Services. So then I enrolled in BC’s Higher Ed program to get a Masters in Higher Ed Administration, and during that year I also worked as a Graduate Assistant at another school’s Career Center.

What factors have contributed to your interest in higher ed career services?

This has evolved as my roles have changed and the field has changed, but initially it was really about wanting to help people more successfully make that transition from college to adulthood. So that was really my main driver. I didn’t feel like I had necessarily made that transition smoothly myself. Since I had not myself gone though a good discernment process in college, helping other people do better than I did is important to me. Initially I was also drawn to the one-on-one work. Now, although I still enjoy that one-on-one career advising, I really like to think more systemically about how to best serve students.

What are some of your favorite aspects of your job?

I feel really lucky that I really love what I do. Part of what I love so much about it is that I’m doing so many different kinds of things. That variety keeps things fresh. I’m not one who likes stagnant positions, I like the constant change. Something I realized about myself over the past few years is that I love to create solutions to problems we want to address. We conceptualize solutions, then plan their execution, have a tangible result, and make improvements. It’s exciting to be part of that process.

What are your biggest challenges?

One of the biggest challenges is that I love to be doing a million things but we have to make hard decisions about where to put our time, energy, and resources. I’m not making those decisions by myself, but they never stop being challenging.

What are you involved with at BC?

This isn’t a “fun” one exactly, but I’ve done administrative hearing boards. I’ve brought my kids to arts festival and they have been begging to come back again this year. My husband and I have also brought our kids to a few sporting events, which has been fun.

Favorite thing about BC?

I can’t pick just one. There’s so much happening with so many diverse opportunities that there’s always something to be involved with. That’s why I wanted to work on a college campus, the energy is great. It reminds me of my own undergraduate experience.

What advice would you give to students about finding:

  • The right workplace fit?
    • Know your own values first, because you can’t know what you’re looking for and what’s going to be a good fit if you don’t know what’s important to you. From there, ask questions to figure out if it will be a good fit. An extension of that is to be honest with yourself and the organization. It’s not about saying the right things to get the job. It’s a two way arrangement, and you have just as much decision making power as your potential employer. It’s in everyone’s best interest for you to be happy. Knowing what you’re looking for and staying true to that is mutually beneficial for the efficiency of the company and you as an employee.
  • Ways both to prepare and to enter into Career Services?
    • I hated and avoided any kind of oral presentation when I was an undergrad. Until second semester of senior year, I avoided all classes that had presentations involved. Retrospectively, I wish I had embraced that challenge a bit more and tried to get over it. I’m now in a field where I have to give presentations regularly, and couldn’t be successful without that skill.  I’m far more comfortable with public speaking now and I always enjoy talking to students, but I wish I had gotten over that at an earlier age. I also wish that in undergrad I had sought out guidance of career advisors and other mentors more frequently and earlier in college. Taking advantage of all the resources at your fingertips could save you a lot of time and headaches.

Students can come to talk to you about:

I really like talking to students about embracing the many opportunities and career possibilities available to them. I’m an extremely practical thinker myself, and it took me a very long time to embrace that there isn’t necessarily going to be a linear 5-, 10-, 20-year plan. And when I figured that out, I found it very liberating. I tell students all the time, it’s not about the 50 year plan. There are very few decisions you make now that you can’t pivot from later.

I also really like talking to students about work-life balance issues. It’s an important thing. The single most important career choice I’ve made was in choosing my partner. I wasn’t thinking about it as a career decision at the time, but in retrospect there is simply no way my life as a working mom would work without a truly supportive partner. I mean that as partner, not spouse, but partner. We are truly even in how we raise our kids with full-time jobs.

What activities do you enjoy outside of your job at BC?

My life revolves around my kids outside of BC.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I am pretty proud of the way my husband and I have together figured out how to balance this stuff (so far!). I am extremely grateful that I’m able to have a career that I love and still have three amazing children who know they are the most important people in the world to me. There are still moments when I’m torn, but right now, in this moment, I feel like we’re doing a decent job with the balance.

Who are your heroes in real life?

I feel like it’s only fair to say my parents. Increasingly, in the last seven years, in regards to my mom in particular, just knowing all the sacrifices she’s made for us has hugely impacted me. I have had a very privileged life because of all that they have done for us and for that, I will always be grateful.


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