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Kim: Finding a job that uses my strengths

NWCCI JumpingKim Kraft joined the Northwest Community College Initiative team in August 2013 as the new program adviser at Edmonds Community College.  After two months on the job we are convinced that Kim brings a great deal of insight and experience to the program. We are thrilled to have her on board!  Here she writes about why she decided to apply to be an NWCCI adviser, the skills she brings to the position and her first impressions of the program.

When I was younger, if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would answer, “maybe a teacher, or a journalist, or a travel agent…”.  I knew what I liked and I knew what I was good at, but I could never pinpoint the exact profession that I was aiming for. Then I started working in the Student Development field, teaching students about goal setting and career planning, and I realized that it is actually important to know what you like and what you are good at in order to figure out what you want to be.  This “strengths-based” approach to career planning  is how I ended up at Edmonds Community College as the new NWCCI Program Advisor.

Before starting at EdCC, I was a graduate student and a Swedish teacher at the University of Washington. I completed my Masters degree in June and began searching for jobs. Having also worked as an academic adviser in the past, I knew that I wanted to return to working in the education field, but this time I was determined to find a job that used my strengths and therefore met very specific requirements. Here is the list of what I wanted out of my new job: to plan and organize events, work directly with students, to work in an intercultural environment, and to facilitate workshops or classes.Cookout (Kim, Siska, Rosemond)

As you can imagine, when I read the job description for the Program Adviser position at Edmonds, it was love at first sight.

I have been on the job for nearly two months now, and it feels like I’ve been here for years (and I mean that in a good way). I honestly look forward to coming to work every single day.  I get to work with an amazing group of students from around the globe. I am surrounded by student-centered, professional colleagues who also love their jobs. Not only do I get to plan and organize events, but I even get to do most of the events with the students. In just two months, we’ve toured Seattle and some of the surrounding areas, river rafted, attended a basketball game, attended lectures, and more. Now that fall quarter has begun and campus is in full swing, I am really excited to help students create educational plans and get the most out of their academic year at Edmonds.

Obviously, if you had asked me years ago what I wanted to be, I would never have known to answer “maybe a NWCCI Program Adviser” but I am very glad to be doing it now.IMG_4381

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