Melanie Ronten

MA Counseling, specialization in School Counseling with Pupil Personnel Services Credential

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

I am from Rocklin, CA and received a BA in Psychology from Sonoma State University in Northern California. Before beginning the program, I was a social services director for a nonprofit and a substitute teacher. Throughout college, I held various jobs as an after school program coordinator, nanny, and dance teacher for children. 

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

When I decided to apply to graduate school, I knew I wanted to be in Southern California and figured it was the perfect time to move away and experience a new place. Upon visiting the University of San Diego for my interview, I realized this campus and program were a good fit for my needs. Based off the positive reputation, I felt that this was going to be a supportive environment where I could gain valuable knowledge and experiences to prepare me for the field of school counseling. The international requirement also was something that I was excited to see was a part of the program. 

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

I have always loved working with students and can imagine working with the elementary, middle, or high school population. I hope that I can serve as a support and advocate for students in any aspect of their lives. 

How has your SOLES education impacted your career and/or career goals?

In my first semester, the program has taught me so much about myself and this profession. My first semester made me more excited to become a counselor and reaffirmed that I am entering the right field. I know that the experiences and education I am getting within SOLES are going to guide me to opportunities that will help me to achieve my career goals.

What are your plans for after graduation? What is your dream job?

After graduation I hope to find a job as a school counselor. Ideally within a high school, but I would also love to work in any school setting. 

Is there anything specific you would like to share with prospective students?

Be completely open during the process. You are going to learn about yourself, others, and the field, so you have to have an open mind. Graduate school is unlike any other time in your life, so take advantage of all the opportunities within the university, SOLES, and in San Diego!