Spotlight – John Bradac, Ithaca College
Director of Career Services, Ithaca College
John received a Bachelors in Mental Health Counseling and a Masters of Counseling and Student Affairs from Gannon University and his Doctoral Studies in College Student Personnel and Higher Education Administration from Ohio University (ABD). John has been at Ithaca College for 25 years and in his current role for 22 years.
What was your career path to get your current role? Resident Director, Gannon University; Director of Student Activities and Leadership, Briar Cliff College; Graduate Assistant Career Services, Ohio University; Assistant Director of Career Services, Ithaca College
What was your first job? Resident Director, Gannon University
Why did you choose this career? I love working with students in the college environment!
What is the skill that is most important in your current role? The ability to relate and communicate with the many different constituents that Career Services works with. Every person deserves to be heard with respect and dignity.
How did you develop this skill and how do you fine-tune it regularly? So much of this comes naturally; however, one thing that I have learned over the years is never ever make assumptions about the people we work with. My most powerful learning experiences come when I make wrong assumptions and do not really listen to what my clients have to share.
Did you have a mentor? I have many mentors in Higher Education and career services. Two that I would name immediately would be Dr. Lou Agnese, President of Incarnate Word University, and Sally Kearsley, Retired Career Services Director at Ohio University. Both believed in me, and challenged me to get involved and serve students to the best of my abilities.
Did you hold any EACE leadership roles? If so, how have they helped in your career? I have been involved in a number of committees and presentations with ECPO ECEN and EACE through the years. However, and even more importantly, I have encouraged each of my professional staff to get involved in leadership positions in order to create the network and professional development for their professional growth and that has given me a stronger more informed staff.
What is your biggest career accomplishment? This answer is very simple. Serving students well! Awards and recognition’s are always very flattering but at the heart of it all is giving your all to those we serve.
What is your advice to students looking for their first job? Know yourself. Pursue you passions. Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Make it fun.
What is your advice to young professionals in the field who aspire to your current role? Demonstrate you passion for working with students. Become a student of the profession by reading and discussing your thoughts with others. Get to know the many wonderful professionals and leaders in the field. Have fun with what you do and let it show.
What was the best career advice you have ever received? Make every day count!
What would you like colleagues to know about your organization? I have been fortunate to be at a wonderful supportive institution for much of my professional career and that is a wonderful opportunity to have.