Alumni Spotlight: Esther Rodriguez ‘15 MA, Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services
I believe that school counseling serves as a catalyst for social progress
Tell us about your journey post graduation.
I am currently working at a university. I want to gain more professional experience before exploring career options in a middle school or high school. Ideally I would have gone straight to a middle school but this opportunity presented itself and I did not want to pass it up. My motivation to be a helping professional is inspired by working with many high schools, community colleges, school counselors, and families. I see the great impact that school counselors make on the lives of students and their families. Additionally I also see the great need for exposure to higher education and post-secondary planning.
How have you applied leadership practices into your professional life?
I stumble across a lot of crisis counseling during admissions decisions. When a student does not get into the school they had hoped for I do my best to hear them out, help them find a solution that works for them and I present them with options for the future (appeal, transfer, etc.).
What is your fondest memory of USD?
What is your favorite place on campus, why?
O'Tooles because I feel like I am at the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade (Harry Potter reference).
Who was your favorite USD professor or class?
I loved Dr. Cameron's multicultural counseling class because I felt like her lectures really challenged my thinking and approach to counseling.
How have you remained involved with USD since graduation?
I try to make it out to panels that I am invited to.
If you could offer a current USD student advice, what would it be?
Use your personal statement to help you write your cover letter during your supervision class. If you're offered a job, don't be hesitant to negotiate a salary. You have a lot to bring to the table especially with the way the program prepares you. At the same time, salary isn't the only factor to consider since your job environment should be one that you want to go to everyday.
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