The Marketing Communications Department on campus sat down for a Q & A with Maureen Ciliberto, the new Career Services Coordinator. We wanted to know more about Maureen but also how career services can be beneficial to the students on our campus at any point in their education. Career Services is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tell us about yourself and prior experiences to Penn State Wilkes-Barre.
I started at Penn State Wilkes-Barre taking liberal arts courses. After receiving a card from Penn State Wilkes-Barre hand signed by faculty and staff, I knew I wanted to make people feel as good and special as that card made me feel so I choose Psychology. After my two years at this campus I transferred to King's because the thought of a large campus such as University Park scared me. My first job was in Luzerne County as a career counselor aiding unemployed individuals get on track. I then opened my own business called Employment Express aiding laid off managers gain skills needed to move into other job positions. After Career Link opened, the business couldn't compete so we closed and I took a position in Scranton University in career services.
What do your colleagues say are your best qualities?
That I am very approachable, can relate very well to others, and have empathy for others.
Who has inspired you in your life and why?
Oprah Winfrey because of her belief systems and what you can give back to others rather than worrying about yourself. She has inspired me to think, how can I give back today? Also, Dr. Wayne Dyer, a psychologist and author, whose book I had to read for class is all about the idea of self-actualization has inspired me to be better than I was yesterday.
What is your philosophy towards career services in general on a college campus?
Do what makes you happy; career services is a way to advocate for students to their families about career choices. Finding your calling is a life long journey that can start at career services. I encourage alumni to still utilize career services because you never know what path you will end up on. It is a living, breathing entity.
If you were stranded on a dessert island, what three things would you have and why?
A book, probably a Dr. Dyer book so I can be within myself on the island. A journal, to express my thoughts, and a toothbrush so I can have a clean feeling.
Professionals, students, and humans all make mistakes, we know they are bound to happen, what would your advice be to students to recover from a missed deadline or un-returned phone call?
The most important thing to remember is that we are all humans and make mistakes. Forgiving yourself is the first step to then accepting and acknowledging that something has happened and it can be fixed. Do not ignore a wrong that has been made and if you don't know how to fix it, ask how you can.
Can you give students advice on how to handle to criticism they may receive in the work place?
It is never easy, no matter how old you are or what position you hold. The best advice I can give is to question, "Is this valid criticism?" Sometimes people are having a bad day and take it out on you. If it is valid, do not take it to heart but learn from it and work through it.
When do you believe students should begin planning their careers?
All students are different, the hope is that as soon as a freshman steps on campus they will begin planning. Most cases this does not happen but usually sophomore year students fall into a "sophomore slump" and will look to career services for guidance.
What made you want to come to Penn Stat Wilkes-Barre?
The small campus here is great. I can connect with students on a more personal basis. I started my college career here at this campus so I feel like it has come full circle for me now.
In 50 words or less describe what career services at Penn State Wilkes-Barre means to you?
I love that career services here at Penn State Wilkes-Barre is full time. Everyone has the ability to come and plan and there are no restrictions. Students here really want to learn and become educated for the next step of the lives with the Penn State name behind them.
What goals have you set for career services to move forward on campus?
We will be definitely continuing the programs that Jill Laing initially worked on such as the Mentor Program and Senior Send off. We will be looking to partner with the Business Club and First Year Seminar professors to have more career planning workshops on campus next school year. I would just like to really make time for 1 on 1 with students because that is when they will truly get the most support from Career Services.
Is there anything else you would like to share with students and staff?
I would like to express how happy I am to be here on campus and let the students know they can come into Career Services anytime.