Janelle Farkas

MA in Higher Education Leadership

Janelle Farkas 

Los Angeles, CA

When did you begin your program, and when do you anticipate completing it?

I began my program in Fall 2015 and plan to finish in Spring 2017.

What do you hope to do with your degree and/or credential, and why?

Student Affairs is such a big field, that I can’t pick just one functional area! I have a passion for working in New Student Orientation as I love helping shape new students’ experiences from the beginning. I would also love to work in a Disability Resource Center and help students with disabilities acclimate to college life. During my Graduate Assistantship, I have also fallen in love with Career Services and assisting students in finding their dream job, so I would love to do that as well.

How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?

Many of my mentors from my undergraduate institution are SOLES graduates. After seeing how much they loved the program and how well the program prepared them for their professional life, I had to apply! I am so happy I was accepted, because I know that this program will prepare me for my career. I chose to enroll because I felt that I would get the best hands-on experience. I also loved the international requirement because acknowledging that there are important things to learn from other cultures is extremely important to me.

What is your background? For example, where are you from, where else have you earned a degree, and where have you worked?

I am originally from outside of Los Angeles, CA. I did my first year of college at a small, private school in Pennsylvania. Due to a variety of reasons, the school was not a good fit for me and I came back home and took a gap year while I applied to transfer to other schools. During that gap year, I did four different internships, where I first began to work with children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. In Fall 2012, I began my second year of college at Chapman University in Orange, CA. During my time at Chapman University, I was an orientation leader and an intern in the Office of First Year Programs. I was also a teacher’s assistant for 2 years. I graduated with a B.A. in Integrated Educational Studies and a minor in Leadership Studies from Chapman University in May 2015.  In addition, I interned at the Disability Services office at University of California, Irvine, where I found my passion in working with college students with disabilities. Through my experiences at both Chapman University and University of California, Irvine, I knew that Student Affairs was the right field for me, as I wanted to ensure that college students were successful and thriving in their environment.

Are you currently working? If so, do you work full-time or part-time, and what do you do?

I currently serve as the Graduate Assistant at USD’s Career Development Center. I help to run our Career Ambassador program and hold my own appointment hours and drop-in hours to help USD students achieve their career goals.

Which class has impacted you the most? Why?

The class that has impacted me the most has been LEAD 550. This unique, workshop style class fosters an environment that allows each student time and space for deep self-reflection. I learned so much about myself and the way that I see the world, and know that this class has helped shape my relationships with myself, my peers, my coworkers, my friends, and my family. It has allowed me to see the world in a different way, and to feel comfortable with being uncomfortable.