Updated: Apr 26
California native Sarah “Elena” Falcy found her way to Cleveland State University two years ago to pursue a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. She then stumbled upon Career Services in an unexpected way.
Sarah recalls visiting Career Services because she was involved in a job scam. After sorting out the unfortunate experience with Assistant Director Karen Lieske, Karen noticed her resume and encouraged her to apply for the Career Peer position.
“I started here as a Career Peer about two years ago in the summer, and I remember just feeling totally out of my depth – I had never helped students with resumes before so I was thinking, ‘what the heck am I doing?’ So it was definitely an interesting starting period,” she said.
Sarah’s start as a Career Peer made her more comfortable helping students and learning the Hire A Vike software. Due to her growth and performance she was awarded a graduate assistantship.
“Now I am overseeing Career Peers, helping them manage their time and projects, and supporting their skill development.”
Sarah’s biggest takeaways from Career Services
“I think that the biggest thing I have learned is the importance of having confidence when interacting with employers.”
“I have always been super nervous in interviews, I am always having a shaking voice and thinking, ‘what am I going to say?!’”
Now, Sarah explains that being in an environment where employers are constantly visiting the office to participate in events and help students has shifted her perception of employers, and helped build her confidence.
“It makes me think that they are just people who want to help the community in whatever way they can.”
“One of the reasons I went into occupational therapy is because I want to help people. I think working in Career Services really allowed me to express that because you're helping people get jobs and you're helping people feel better about their future.”
Why Student Employment is Important
“I think there's multiple facets to this, but I personally like student employment because it's very flexible around your school schedule, which is super helpful. In my opinion, school is the most important thing.”
She remembers her time in undergrad, and notes that she did not work on campus and was not involved with students outside of her major. Now, Sarah expresses her love of meeting students from every kind of major when they visit the office and encouraging them to work on campus.
“Sometimes it’s their first experience working and it's just a great way to start that process."
"Usually on campus jobs are very flexible, they really encourage the learning process, and they are very supportive of your role as a student. That's probably my favorite part of working on campus.”
What else does she want students to know?
“Where we are located!” Sarah exclaimed.
Career Services in in Rhodes West 280 which has historically been difficult to find.
“Seriously though, I think that a lot of students don’t understand how important we are until they are in crisis mode of needing a job.”
“I want students to know that we are here throughout your college experience and that we can help you prepare so that you're not frantically running around at the end trying to figure out how to get a job before your loans start coming in. I know how it feels. It wasn't fun.”
Sarah poses the question, “Why else would you come to get a degree other than to better your future?”
“That’s what I feel like we do here at Career Services – we help people use the tools that they’re gaining while in school to get a good job or to get into the field that they love.”
More about Sarah
Sarah actually goes by her middle name, Elena, to all of her close friends and family.
She grew up in Laguna Hills, California, and obtained a B.S in Exercise Science from Eastern Washington University. She will graduate in December 2019, but is completing six months of field work back in California until then. Sarah also enjoys hiking, playing video games, and playing with any dog she sees.