The college experience has to end someday. I am sorry that I had to break it to you this way, but eventually we all have to leave and find some sort of career. Luckily, Albion has a strong office of career development that is itching to do all that it can to assist you in your search. I had the pleasure of sitting down with the new director, Troy Kase.
Where are you from?
Idaho. I just moved out in January. There aren’t any differences in the weather, unfortunately.
Where did you go to school?
Idaho State University. With 15,000, it was comparatively bigger than a small, liberal arts school.
How did you get involved with career development?
After graduate school, I was involved in student housing for a number of years in South Dakota in a private liberal arts college there, and that was my first exposure to a school like that. I absolutely loved that experience, but then I was recruited to work back at the Idaho State University career center because I had done some career counseling as an undergraduate intern. Career services attracted me because, on some level, that’s why every student is in college: to do something after. Some students are here just for the sake of learning, but the reality is that even they have to do something after graduation. There was a certain level of excitement for me to be more formally involved in that process. It’s a very rewarding job, frankly, to be a part of that process.
How did you end up at Albion?
I had not heard of Albion, but we were looking at schools near my wife’s family in Ohio and this came up on the radar. I looked into it, applied, and came out for an interview, and I really loved my visit here. I left with such a positive feeling about this place. They offered me the job, I made sure it was a good fit, and here I am. The reason I felt so good about Albion was that when I came out, I was meeting with all these people who were interested in career development, and I was surrounded by it, and that’s what attracted me.
In your words, what is the point of career development?
That’s really broad, but I think it involves who you are as a person, your interests, your values, your abilities. It’s about finding a good match between knowing who you are and what’s available out there. It’s about knowing how to get into those fields: experience, networking, internships, full-time jobs.
Have you made any immediate changes?
I want to be really careful and not make vast, sweeping changes because I think things were run very well here. There wasn’t a person in the director position I believe since October, so I wanted to get out there and make sure that students know that we have a director and that we are good to go. I have been in classes talking about upcoming events and we have been utilizing our Facebook page for exposure. We’re working hard just to get the name out there. It’s not necessarily a change, but it’s my mission to get the word out.
Do you think Albion’s office of career development is utilized enough by students?
I think you could ask any career development director on any campus and every single one of us would say, “No, it’s not utilized enough,” but, having said that, my schedule has been absolutely packed seeing students recently. But we would always like to reach more students. We would always like to have more students in the Briton Network.
Where would you like to see career development in a few years?
Much more utilized. I would like it to be a part of the culture so that every student would know that’s where you go for help.
What things do you like to do for fun?
My family and I love the outdoors, which is why were excited to live in Michigan because we know it has a lot of outdoor activities. And I have a family coming out to join me soon, and that’s what I really do for fun: hang out with them.
Is there anything you would like to say to the student body?
There has been one consistent message that I hear when I talk to students here about their resumes: students have some really unique characteristics and experiences here on this campus. Students need to understand that they really have had something very special here, that they’ve developed really strong communication, leadership and critical thinking skills. So I would love for students to recognize that and be able to articulate that when they’re talking to graduate schools and employers. I’ve experienced different environments and I’m really, really impressed with the students here.