Where I am and grow as an expert is within recruiting and workforce solutions. I confidently help other professionals navigate their careers primarily within the life science industry, so I should know exactly how to navigate my own, right? I wish! As a first-generation bachelor’s graduate with my degree in biology, now a hopeful master’s candidate eager to utilize my scientific background in business, I’ve had to figure out a lot and often learn how much more there is to learn. What I do know is that I continue to find invaluable lessons in expert education, connecting with others, and hands-on experience. Leveraging those opportunities through Kelley Direct changed the career navigation process from daunting and difficult to suddenly much more manageable and exciting.
I utilized our Graduate Career Services and completed our Career Management (Navigators) course just in time to decide between two great positions: one where I could further specialize and one where I could transition into something new. I loved both opportunities and knew that there wasn’t a wrong choice, but I still felt the pressure to make the “right” decision and couldn’t nail down what right meant for me. Those resources helped me define my values, personal vision, and a developmental action plan to get there.
I networked and connected with my professional and academic peers and mentors, learning from their perspectives and personal experience. My classmates are extremely diverse in their backgrounds, and I was reassured that I wasn’t the only one who felt a bit lost. I found that career navigation is a continuously evolving process; what may be right then might change soon after, way later, or not at all, and that’s okay! I asked tenured professionals to share how their values and priorities changed over time, and it was the transition from prioritizing career growth to work-life balance that stood out to me, especially as I re-defined my own. Side note: These connections are amazing, and having a network of support (mentors, coaches, sponsors, and more) is essential for both personal and professional growth!
Growing up, I was raised with strong Philippine cultural values of genuine togetherness and community (pakikisama) and debt of gratitude and desire to give back (utang na loob), while my dad would always say that “we do the impossible every day.” I’m incredibly proud to be my parents’ daughter, and especially after being in a caregiver role this past year, I realized that what changed for me was the “impossible”. Pairing that with my vision statement and peer testimony, then came the action plan and the excitement for what’s next!
I was armed with numerous tools to help guide me down either path, so while the choice was still difficult, I ultimately decided to transition into my new position in corporate recruiting for science, engineering, and technology workforce solutions. I was inspired by my business analytics electives, where I felt I could apply my coursework more directly as well as make a larger impact on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I’m proud to forever be part of my first team here and grateful for leadership and peers that empower and encourage me. I’m ready and excited to now be someone who builds that team and who can facilitate others having such a rewarding and valuable experience too.
I’m looking forward to growing in this next step, and I’m so happy to do it with all of you! Career navigation is a continuing cycle of this reflection and planning, so while I don’t quite know what comes next, I’m confident in this: I aspire to have the expertise to drive change and influence action that would positively impact a community, striving for equity and access for all; and where it may be impossible to love this deeply, to feel happiness so completely, and to be as much as one can be, I’ll be striving for those every day too.