Spotlight – Rosalie Shemmer, Temple University
Senior Director, Temple University Career Center
Rosalie received a BA in Applied Psychology and a MS in Counseling from Pace University. She has been in her current role with the Temple University Career Center for less than a year.
What was your career path to get your current role? This is my second career. After twenty years in retail management, I decided to make a change and pursue graduate education. My education led me to the field of Career Counseling. I began working in Higher Education as an academic advisor while I was pursuing a MS in Counseling. After completing my degree, I was a Career Counselor, Assistant Director of Employer Relations and Director of Career Development at a Liberal Arts College, which led me to my current role at Temple University.
What was your first job? My first job was in the retail industry. I was completing a degree in Retail Merchandising at Harcum College that required an internship. My internship was at B. Altman’s Department Store in St. Davids, PA. This internship launched my career in retail management and eventually higher education. My own experience is why I understand the importance of internships for students. It set me on my own path.
Why did you choose this career? I was inspired by a professor who taught a Career Counseling course when I was was pursuing my Master’s in Counseling. She talked to me about my ability to advise other career changers who were similar to me. My professor sparked my interest in the career services field; however, I was working as an academic advisor at the time and knew that I would prefer to work primarily with college students. I find the field of career services interesting because it is constantly changing. Changes occur in the employment market, in methods of communication and within higher education. While I am currently in an administrative role, my true passion is working with students. I enjoy any opportunity I have to interact directly with students.
What is the skill that is most important in your current role? Building relationships is crucial in this role. It is important to stay on top of current trends, to plan strategically, and to establish realistic goals. However, developing a successful Career Center is dependent on the relationships that are built internally and with the external community. All of our actions are interrelated. Partnerships with employers, alumni, faculty and staff all contribute to student success.
How did you develop this skill and how do you fine-tune it regularly? As I began to assume leadership roles early in my retail management career, I quickly learned that nothing can be done successfully without the help of others. Relationship building is fine-tuned daily. At Temple University, we are in the process of expanding our center and providing new resources for our students and alumni. Each of our new initiatives is dependent on partnership with others in our community. It is important to demonstrate how we can add value in order to gain consensus and ultimately build strong partnerships.
Did you have a mentor? I have worked with many people that I admire and who have guided me along the way. I have grown because my mentors took the time to have a conversation with me about future possibilities. We never spoke about future jobs. Instead we discussed possibilities within my current role at the time. I believe this contributed to my success and led me to the next steps in my career.
What is your biggest career accomplishment? After a successful career in business, I returned to College and began a new career in higher education career services.
What is your advice to students looking for their first job? Most students have completed their first job prior to coming to College. At this point, I would encourage students to complete more than one internship opportunity. This is a time to explore as well as gain experience that will lead to students’ first professional job after graduation. I would like to calm students’ fears about finding the perfect job after graduation and remind them to enjoy the journey.
What is your advice to young professionals in the field who aspire to your current role? It is important to gain experience or an understanding of the functional areas of running a career center. The success of a career center depends on providing professional development for students, developing employer/alumni relationships that lead to internship and job opportunities, assessment, marketing and communications, an understanding of technology and virtual resources, and more. It is important to understand how all of the functions are interrelated. In this role, leadership, communication and relationship-building skills are critical. Look for opportunities to develop your skills in those areas.
What was the best career advice you have ever received? Have confidence in yourself and your abilities.
What would you like colleagues to know about your organization? This is a great opportunity to let everyone know about the amazing things that are happening at Temple University! We are doubling the size of our staff over the next year. We have begun to build our team and will continue to recruit new staff members. Please look for open positions on higheredjobs.com or temple.edu/hr. We are embracing new trends in career services with a focus on career communities, virtual resources, and employer partnerships that will provide opportunities for our students and alumni.