Meet the Student Specialists in Career Development


Charlotte Abramson

Peaceful evening in the Career Center

Riley Omonaka, Staff Writer

Walking into Career Development can be daunting and asking for help even more so. It can appear impossible to navigate the world of career planning on one’s own, but there seems to be an ever growing list of resources and services available to students. Luckily, the Career Development center staffs five well-trained students to help. 

Currently, Career Development sees one to two students per day, but before the pandemic, the place was bustling. “We’re still open,” Ryan Kister, a senior student specialist, said. “Come in as soon as you’re ready.”

Kister emphasized that everyone can benefit from working with both students and professional staff in Career Development. He urged students to “come in as early as possible, even freshman year. [Career Development] is ready to develop a plan for everyone.”

Outside of Career Development, Kister plays on the men’s soccer team and is involved in a fraternity. However before, Kister was already helping his friends and teammates with their resumes and cover letters.

“I pretty much lived in the Career Center from sophomore year on, because I was working on my career plan and resume,” Kister said. “I picked up a lot of little skills in there that I used to help my friends with their cover letters and resumes.”

Fellow senior, Shannon Stoller, is no stranger to the center either. When she’s not out on the volleyball court, grabbing coffee, or studying for class, Stoller can be found helping students out in the Career Center.

“My training was very involved, I worked with all the pro-staff to learn the importance of professional development and how to build a career plan,” Stoller said.

Committed to helping students and giving them access to career resources, Stoller elaborated  on the services the center offers. “I can show them templates for their resume and walk them through step-by-step to build off of it,” she said. 

While resume and cover letter editing is by far the most requested, the Career Center offers several different resources to students.

One of those resources is the ConnectMe program. “We can connect you with alumni in your desired career for informational interviews, and I think that’s really cool,” Stoller said.

Zanaya Noel, a sophomore student specialist, is ready to help to connect students to these resources. Even while pursuing her nursing major, Noel is committed to helping students figure out their career path–aiming to take the intimidation out of asking for help.

“I’m not here to judge you. My job is to reassure you, no resume is a bad resume. I’m here to help you fix it up and build it for the job it’s applicable for,” Noel said.

Going into the Career Center should be a low-stress experience. Being unsure of a career path is normal, Noel assures. “You don’t have to come into college knowing what you want to do. Career development is here to help you explore different paths and figure out which is best for you,” she said.

This year, there are two new employees in the Career Center. Meghan Mullaly and Kahiau Bonacorsi both started working this last fall. 

Mullaly is a current sophomore who enjoys swimming, arts and outdoor activities. 

“I haven’t worked there long enough to have many interactions, especially with COVID, but I enjoy scheduling appointments with students. It’s nice to talk to them even if it’s only for a couple minutes,” Mullaly said.

While primarily focused on the managerial side of career development, Mullaly is trained to direct students to available resources and help them get in touch with the pro-staff for internship guidance and career decisions.

Bonacorsi is currently the only freshman on the student specialist team. Nonetheless, she is excited to help students. Outside of career development, she is a member of the Linfield women’s soccer team, the Hawaiian club, and will soon begin doing research in the biology department.

Bonacorsi emphasized that the Career Center is more than just a place to workshop resumes and take surveys. As a part of the Linfield community, it shouldn’t be intimidating at all.

“Everyone in the CD Hub is so welcoming and the overall experience of being in the CD is great. I really enjoy the people and sense of purpose,” Bonacorsi said.

Open in Melrose 010 from 8:30am to 5pm, the student specialists in Career Development are on campus ready to support students in any way they can. They are a well-trained diverse group, who want the absolute best for their peers.