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Alumni Panel Gives Students Perspectives in Behavioral Science and Human Services Careers

Alumni Panel Gives Students Perspectives in Behavioral Science and Human Services Careers

The Behavioral Science and Human Services Alumni Career Panel was an opportunity for our PVCC Alumni and faculty to share their experiences and career path with our students. The panelists shared tips on the mindset that has helped them to achieve professional and personal success, and provided first-hand knowledge and candid advice on their various career choices.

The inspiring panelists and their current professions were:

  • Amilyn Castro, PVCC Counseling
  • Matt Gallaugher, Phoenix Fire Department and PVCC Fire Science faculty
  • AmberCheri Lasala, Forensic Science, League City, Texas
  • Stacy Moreno, PVCC Social Work
  • Justin Redman, Director - Legal at GoDaddy

Two of our panelists shared how their educational journeys included a pivot. AmberCherie started as a music major, however, once she got interested in science she redirected her academic pursuits to scientific research and pursued a degree and a profession in Forensic Science. Similarly, Justin Redman had started down a Computer and Information Technology education and career path. He was even designing web pages and doing computer programming. Then late in his undergraduate education, Justin decided to marry the analytic and logic aspects of his brain and pursue a career in law. He met with a professor who helped him appreciate the value of his computer science background and see the opportunities within law for a person with his expertise. 

As they reflected on their pathways from college to career, some of the advice, insights and inspiration they shared included:

AmberCherie - recommends students take any and all classes/electives to utilize their time at PVCC to experiment and explore. Volunteer experience is key and an amazing opportunity to get experience in your area of interest. She shared that a 180 degree turn in the focus of her studies from music to science was challenging. She recommends having a group of friends to support you.

Amilyn - invest in yourself; learning is not just about performing; utilize your connections. She recommends internships. Play in the world and make connections and collaborate. Lifelong learning is crucial so as not to stay in a box. Be flexible with learning and focus on being above and beyond the doing. The more you play in the world, the more you find out what excites you. Everything has led to where she is in life today. 

Justin - believes in the law of attraction and this will help you determine where to set your GPS, learn as much as you can and take advantage of one on one interaction you have here at PVCC with faculty, staff and your peers. Be a good critical thinker. Your path will change. Relax: you will succeed. What you focus on grows and thoughts become things. Work hard and luck will come your way.

Matt - suggests doing ride alongs if you are interested in fire science. Take advantage of opportunities to make connections and try things out. Build a strong resume and network with others who are currently working in the field you are interested in. Strive for a balance between school, work and family life.

Stacy - build your social capital. Network and interact with others and find out about their journey. Consider what skills do you have and what skills you want to enhance. Consider global experiences and enhance your global understanding. Take advantage of internships as this is a great way to explore how social work goes. Turn your experiences into Service Learning. Diversify your experiences. Be engaged on campus. Lean into your discomfort zone. Engage as many ways as possible. Tell people what you are interested in. Find mentors and seek guidance. 

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