As part of UDayton Global at the University of Dayton, students get the one-on-one, individualized support needed to transition and thrive on campus. Career Services Program Manager Brittany Chill and her team are some of the first people you will meet on campus, helping students with everything from adjusting to life at the University of Dayton to providing professional development and internship assistance.
Chill creates the curriculum for international graduate students participating in Shorelight’s Career Services. She also manages the day-to-day career planning for students on the University of Dayton campus. We recently spoke to Chill to learn how international students can expect to work with her while studying in the USA.
From Graduate Student to Graduate Advisor
“You are going to get exactly who I am,” Chill says with a wide smile and laugh. “That surprises some of our students; exuberance can be strange to experience.”
Chill’s welcoming personality and honesty allow her to connect with students, both for the career planning process and on a more personal level. “Students come to talk, to ask questions that may be unrelated to career stuff,” she observes. “It makes them more comfortable.”
Having worked in the corporate sector and higher education, in addition to attending graduate school, Chill understands the employment process from all angles. As a Career Services program manager, Chill now draws on all her experiences to develop curriculum for several classes she teaches as part of UDayton Global, as well as to work one-on-one with students, helping them achieve their goals.
“Being a student,” explains Chill, who is currently earning a second master’s degree, “I look at what my professors do as peers and how that impacts the function and efficiency of class. If they create something great and super engaging, I want to try and use that in my own classes.”
Career Planning with Someone Who Knows You
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, students have the option to interact with Chill remotely since Spring 2020. Surprisingly, many positive changes resulted from the all-virtual setup, including being able to offer more accessibility than imagined.
“When students need us, they know we are there,” she says. The flexibility of meeting virtually offers more opportunities to connect.
“Students are also much more discerning with how they spend their time,” notes Chill. As such, she has worked closely with the central career center to get student feedback and rework the programs she teaches each semester. “Previously, students showed up because there was free food,” she says, only partially joking. “The programs are [now] much more intentionally designed.”
The big topics students want to have a better understanding of include internships and CPT/OPT, technical career prep, and interview prep. Chill’s program ensures students know which experiences they can legally take part in that do not take away from CPT and OPT time.
For technical career prep, Chill works with students on understanding team dynamics and leadership development — skills she says are critical, particularly for students who are used to doing work by themselves.
“They explore questions like ‘What kind of supervisor might I be? What kind of supervisor would I thrive under?’ The focus has always been about getting the job, not necessarily being prepared for it once you get it,” Chill says.
Finally, she helps students articulate their skills. “Many students are used to doing work and that work speaking for itself,” she explains. “It is uncomfortable to be in an environment where you have to sell yourself, so we discuss ways you can talk about yourself.”
“We are able to get to know students on a personal level and that makes the biggest difference,” Chill adds.
For example, perhaps you are not doing as well in a chosen course of study as you expected to be. A 20-minute conversation with Chill or her team may help you figure out you are in the wrong major, and help you discover a different path to success.
Having someone who knows you opens up a world of possibilities.” — Brittany Chill, Career Services program manager, UDayton Global
3 Tips for Making the Most of Shorelight Career Services
To make the most of your time at UDayton Global, Chill has three expert tips.
First, she encourages students to talk with her or her team at orientation.
Second, she recommends taking inventory of yourself, even before you arrive on campus. “Make a bulleted list of your skills,” Chill says. “A lot of people do not think about their skills until they put pen to paper, [and] then they realize they have so many. It is a helpful jumping-off point for the first meeting with me; we can discuss who they are and what they want from their career.”
Third, she emphasizes the importance of asking questions. “It is easy to follow what other students are doing, or just listen to faculty,” she says. “But it is so important to ask questions when things do not make sense or if you think something may be better if you do it differently. Bringing ideas to the table can make a difference.”
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