Navigating a future career path can be a daunting task to go about alone. Luckily for Gonzaga students, the Career and Professional Development team is here to help.
Located on the first floor of Crosby, the CPD office provides both current students and alumni with career support and connections. Their mission statement is to “support students and alumni in all phases of their career development by providing training and opportunities through engagement while fostering an ethos of men and women for others.”
The CPD office provides a variety of resources to students, including personal career assessments, career fairs and alumni networks. They also work personally with students to answer any individual career questions and concerns students may have.
Students can schedule an appointment with a CPD counselor through Handshake to discuss career planning, networking, applying and interviewing.
Michael Gerety, manager of career education and experimental engagement, is one of the CPD counselors who is eager to help students in any way he can.
“More than anything else, we are here to help students navigate the process of identifying what they want to be doing after college and figuring out the educational path they need to take to get there,” said Gerety.
Although CPD assists students with career options, Gerety made it clear that they don’t make any decisions on the students’ behalf.
“We won’t make decisions for students, and we tell them that the assessments don’t make the decisions for the students,” said Gerety. “But they’ll help the students in making the decisions on their own.”
Gerety recommends students come in during their first few years at GU in order to begin thinking about potential career paths earlier on, though most students tend to come in during their sophomore and junior year. This year however, Gerety says there has been a significant increase in the number of freshmen visiting the CPD office.
Ashley Peterson was one of those freshmen who utilized CPD’s resources to get a head start on planning her future.
“I went to CPD because I had no idea what I wanted to do after school and I was overwhelmed at the reality of making giant life decisions so soon,” said Peterson. “They helped me by talking me through it and giving me quizzes to help determine how my interests and skills lined up to different careers.”
In addition to working one-on-one with students, CPD offers career exploration services such as the Gonzaga Alumni Mentorship Program and Treks.
The Gonzaga Alumni Mentorship Program, or GAMP, matches students with GU alumni who work in professions related to the student’s interests. The idea is to foster a mentor/mentee relationship that translates to career decision making advice as well as increased career opportunities.
As for their Trek programs, CPD offers corporate excursions to various cities across the country to connect students with alumni and employers in different fields. In the past CPD has taken groups of students on Treks to cities such as New York City, San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
According to Gerety, the most rewarding part of being a CPD counselor is working with new students every day.
“I like meeting new students and helping them figure out how to navigate the path they’re on,” said Gerety.