SOLES Alumna Spotlight: Nicholle Wyatt '00 (MA), School Counseling

Nicholle Wyatt
begin quoteMy SOLES education provided me with the necessary skills sets to succeed in my career -- a clear counseling philosophy, ability to think on your feet, patience, and being an active listener.

Tell us about your degree program and why you chose it.

I earned an MA in School Counseling in 2000. I originally worked in the college admissions field as an admissions recruiter. By the time I was working with students, their academic and co-curricular profiles were set -- I could only admit or deny them. I wanted to work in the high schools where I could help students much earlier in the application process and expose them to colleges beyond the "sweatshirt schools" -- to educate them on finding colleges that are the best match for their talents, academic interests and goals.

Who was your favorite SOLES professor?

I had many. Dr. Johnson helped me discover/recognize my counseling philosophy and how to follow it. Dr. Rowell taught me the value of professional development and activism. Peggy Hetherington taught me the importance of patience and listening -- don't try to fix the problem, but help lead the student to find the answer. I appreciated and valued the knowledge shared by all my professors during my time at USD.

What is your fondest memory of being at SOLES?

The International Counseling Conference in Australia, followed by a trip to New Zealand. To meet other counselors from around the globe and hear their issues/challenges was eye-opening.

What was your favorite place on campus and why?

The Hahn Center -- it was my hangout place where friends were constantly walking by and swapping stories. We had some long lunches/dinners/Sunday breakfasts there.

Tell us a little bit about your journey since graduating.

I have been working at the Academy Our Lady of Peace for the past 19 years as a college counselor, and I recently accepted the Director of College Advising position at the Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High. During the school year, I am an external admissions reader for UCLA, evaluating roughly 900 freshmen applications every winter. I served on the National Catholic College Admissions Association Board for 2 years with Steve Pultz from USD. For the past three summers, I have been working as a college admissions coach for USC's Bovard Scholars Program, a college access program that helps match under-resourced, high achieving students with top-tier colleges. I have been named the Lead Counselor for the program this summer, which I am very excited about!

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

My SOLES education provided me with the necessary skills sets to succeed in my career -- a clear counseling philosophy, ability to think on your feet, patience, and being an active listener.

If you could offer a current SOLES student advice, what would it be?

Soak it all in! Take advantage of all the SOLES resources and education professionals there to help you. And enjoy the SOLES building -- I didn't have that view when I was there!

Contact:

Amanda Gonzales
amanda@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4539

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