By Dani Moritz-Long
Resume writing and job searching and interview practice, oh my! These are the kinds of seemingly frightening tasks on many students’ to-do lists as they embark on their own personal roads to success. Fortunately, to help students overcome these necessary obstacles, they can pay a visit to the Career Center — where they’ll encounter people like Career Development Services Coordinator Margaux Pratt, who are happy to help.
Whether it’s helping students refine a resume, explore career options or role play a job interview, Margaux says she enjoys the challenge of helping students meet their goals. In particular, Margaux, who has a master’s degree in educational leadership and bachelor’s degree in interpersonal/organizational communication, appreciates the office’s openness to creative solutions.
“I am really proud of our office’s willingness to try new things,” she said. “We piloted a career development competition this past spring semester, where students applied to the job of campus president for a day. We reviewed resumes, held interviews and selected a candidate to shadow Dr. Plinske for a day. It was a great experience for students to simulate a job search, and it has inspired us to be more interactive with our events and workshops.”
She also enjoys the collaboration among her team members, who are all equally dedicated to driving student success.
“My favorite aspect of the Valencia team is the collaboration and support we have,” she explained.” We have such amazing teamwork at our campus — whenever we are busy, it is all hands on-deck. Everyone is willing to jump in to help during peak times, and I love that about our campus.”
Naturally, she loves the connection she has to students and the ability to watch them grow and develop. While some professors, for example, may not encounter a student again until they cross the stage at graduation, Margaux has the honor of seeing students’ transformations right in front of her eyes and, sometimes, joining in with them in celebration when their hard work leads to a job offer or landing an interview.
“Generally, in the Career Center, we are helping students who have never made a resume or had practice showcasing their skills and accomplishments in an interview,” she said. “Watching students develop confidence in themselves and their skills and be able to assertively proclaim their strengths is so rewarding.”
“Valencia College,” she added, “signifies possibility and opportunity to pursue a dream. I think we truly do put students’ interests first and constantly try to make education accessible. Some of our students would never have had college as an option or seen themselves as college material without Valencia College.”
And thanks to Margaux and her team, these students are not only able to pursue college, but also successfully pursue whatever ambitions come after.
“Margaux has been a tremendous addition to the Career Center ever since she started as a career advisor,” said Campus Director of Advising John Britt. “Recently, Margaux was promoted to the career coordinator, now providing leadership for the office. Margaux has developed amazing programming for students at the Career Center, including the President for a Day initiative, which allows students to explore what a real job search is like from start to finish. Furthermore, her collaborative nature has allowed for the Lake Nona and Poinciana Campuses to have Career Development services for their students. Margaux is a very talented leader, and we are lucky to have her.”
Outside of Valencia, you’ll find Margaux visiting Walt Disney World with her husband, playing frisbee with her canine companion, cooking and grilling, or volunteering with her church on the hospitality team. Something you may not know about her, she says, is that she has a hidden talent. And while it’s not quite as eccentric as former Featured Colleague Brian Barilone‘s stilt walking ability, it is quite useful. So, what is it? “Parallel parking,” joked Margaux.
“I think it is impressive,” she laughed, “considering how little that skill needs to be utilized in Florida.”
Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s Values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.