Photo by Sophia Crossley

Whatcom offers career advice for students

By Sophia Crossley

Advising and Career Services is a resource Whatcom Community College offers for students.
Ana Nicolas-Perez is one Whatcom student who has benefitted from Advising and Career Services.
“Whatcom has helped me so much, I feel more prepared. I wish I had gone to a community college first,” Nicolas-Perez said.


Dave Knapp, the new director for Whatcom Community College’s Advising and Career Services, wants students to know that it doesn’t matter where they are in the career search process, just to come in and start the conversation.
“When I get to have a conversation with a student, he or she tells me about two or three different things they are really interested in or excited about, but they can’t choose. My favorite part of that conversation is when students come around to find an academic path or career option that brings all of them together. It’s really fun to see students’ reactions,” Knapp said.
Knapp has an office at the back of Entry and Advising within Laidlaw, Room 116E.
Kathy Barnes, the previous director, retired last year and Knapp began the position in April.
Knapp oversees and supports the advisors, stepping in when the advisors encounter a unique student situation.
The Advising and Career Center is in Laidlaw Room 116.
Beyond the waiting area, the room resembles a computer lab. From there, advisors work with students discussing transfer credits, degree plans, job options, or career prospects.
Advising and Career Services are located in Laidlaw Room 116 and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday thru Thursday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays.
“In my experience, students are hesitant to come in because they feel like they don’t know enough to figure out which questions they should be asking.” Knapp said.
Advisor Amy Riedel teaches Psychology 105, Career Search Process, a Whatcom course designed to help students explore their career options.
The advisors who evaluate credits from other community colleges or universities sometimes come across courses that don’t match any of the courses at Whatcom.
“We want to recognize the time that you put in and the credits you’ve earned.” Knapp said about credit transfers.
Knapp is familiar with the process, he worked as an advisor here at Whatcom for four years.
“Whatcom is my home,” Knapp said.
Advising and Career Services offer one on one meetings with advisors, transfer or career fairs, and workshops which help students determine their direction.
The next workshop available is Transfer U and will be held in Laidlaw Center on May 24.


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