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Coach Professional Development Day

A Group Of People, Stand, With 3 Kneeling, Smiling At The Camera In Front Of A Corner Where A Window And Wall Meet.

I had the opportunity to participate in College Possible Washington’s first inaugural Professional Development Day. This day consisted of several workshops, panels, and group discussions, wherein we discussed future career planning.

To start the day, we were greeted by our board members Lisa MacFarlane, Damariz Ibáñez and Ronnie Yates, who relayed to us their own backgrounds, giving us insight into how they navigated their careers, leading to their great successes. This was my favorite part of the day, as I found the diversity of backgrounds of our board members profoundly interesting. Most notably was Lisa’s career story, which involved studying art history in their undergrad, landing a job working in juvenile corrections, lobbying for educational reform, and pivoting to backpacking across the states with a youth camp which eventually leading to her career as a public defender. It was fascinating to hear how some of the board members knew early on exactly what they wanted to do with their lives, while others took more career twists and turns to land where they are now. Nonetheless, they all succeeded in their paths.

Later in the afternoon, we assembled into groups to talk one-on-one with Tim Tran, Damariz Ibáñez and Sarah Bumiller to hear more stories and gain insight into their career paths. This transitioned into breakout sessions where we practiced career skills with Ronnie Yates, Tim Tran, Manmeet Dhami, Austin Dahl & Rick Molloy. The career skills workshop included networking basics, job searching skills, informational interviewing, and mock interviews. This helped us to understand how the job market functions, and how to best prepare ourselves for it. My mentor, Austin, has worked with me closely to revise and perfect my resume and LinkedIn profile, and I was excited to see him connect with other coaches that I knew would benefit greatly from his expertise.

This was a great opportunity for us to connect with people in the same industry of our interest, especially for the large majority of us interested in higher education and jobs in a corporate setting. We were given real-world advice from experts in the field, allowing us to maximize our potential, while gaining insights into what recruiters are looking for.

My favorite piece of advice from the day was to “not let these big decisions get in the way of doing what calls to you.” Career planning is indeed difficult and perplexing, and it can feel as though we need to already be ten steps ahead of where we are now. However, we still need to live our lives. We are young and have a long journey ahead of us – which should make us excited to see what we will accomplish!

Overall, we left the day with new skills and practices that are applicable to our future career goals. We left feeling more connected to and learned from their vast experiences.

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