Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alumni Spotlight - Jessica (Groth) Wood '06

After graduating in December, 2006 with a BA in Psychology, I was hired on to work for the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, where I served as a Caseload Assistant, helping individuals with visual impairments find jobs and enroll in job training. I knew I wanted to return to school and pursue my Master’s Degree in Counseling, so I enrolled in the Community Counseling program at the University of Akron while working full-time. I had the opportunity to go back to school and work full-time as a Graduate Assistant in the CHAMPS/Life Skills program for student-athletes, and could not pass it up. I spent the next 2 years planning career events, community service events, and monitoring the study hall program for the athletics department. I believe this was where I truly came to realize that my heart was in career counseling and helping others achieve their goals and acquire their dream jobs. So, I focused my practicum in my Master’s program towards this and also gained more experience through a Supported Employment program at my internship site. Upon receiving my Master’s of Education in Community Counseling and my Professional Counselor license, I was hired on at my internship site as the Intake Clinician and Emergency Services Therapist. I worked at this community behavioral health agency for a year until I landed my current dream job as the Employment Services Coordinator in the Career Services Center at Lakeland Community College. I get to spend my days planning new career events, presenting workshops, and meeting with students and alumni to help with their job search. My education at Ashland University was so vital to the career path I have taken. It was actually Dr. Ickes who told me about the opportunity with RSC, my first position after AU, which led me down my current path. The knowledge and education I gained at Ashland University has provided a great base for me and helped me in so many ways throughout each of my positions.  All of the professors were so willing to help, and I am still so appreciative of that! What is so great about the program is that it prepares you for so many different career tracks; you really have the opportunity to direct where you go and what you do. Enjoy your time at Ashland in the wonderful psychology program!