Melissa A. Forges is the Assistant Director, Engineering Employer Relations & Recruitment Services at Florida State University. Connect with Melissa on Twitter @MelissaForges or on LinkedIn.
1. Describe your career path up to this point.
My career has been on an interesting ride! The path I have taken has been unpredictable at times but has been fun, lesson filled and rewarding. I have remained connected to education whether it’s in the secondary or post-secondary arena. I have had the opportunity to have been a high school teacher, worked alongside my husband in a campus ministry leadership role and worked in career services in technical trade schools in addition to traditional higher education universities.
2. Why did you choose this career?
This career chose me! Upon entering my graduate degree for College Student Affairs at Nova Southeastern University, I knew I wanted to work with students in higher education and make an impact – I just didn’t know in what particular department. Being able to work as a graduate assistant in the Office of Career Development solified where I wanted to focus my talents, education and skills. The opportunities affored me exposure and experience with employers, events and students and it was then that I knew I needed to choose what had been placed before me.
3. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The core of my character finds true enjoyment in helping people. I find gratification in being able to help students and help employers reach their desired goal whether it be to find an internship or find the right student for an internship. Overall, I want to have lasting impact and knowing that I made a difference, if even in a small way for a student or employer – then I know I have done my duty and that is what is most rewarding about my job.
4. What is the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is being able to figure out what good thing to put into place! The career field has so many great trending items to continue making it better and better! I learn new things everyday from colleagues, webinars, articles, training, etc. and I Iike being able to implement new ideas into what I’m already doing to be current, effective and excellent. It’s an art to ascertain what needs to be changed, omitted or put into practice but it’s what makes things fun!
5. What would you like colleagues to know about your institution/organization?
Florida State University may be a large institution but you feel connected and cared about! I appreciate the Division of Student Affairs in their provision of professional development, fun activities and connectedness for each employee. The Career Center has so many moving parts to it and that’s what makes it unique and exciting! From Career Advising & Counseling to Experiential Learning to Employer Relations & Recruitment Services and the Center for the Study of Technology in Counseling and Career Development, its no wonder that students, staff, faculty and community members receive top notch service from a world renowed Career Center. Each person takes their role seriously and it shows in the work we do!
6. What is the best career advice you have ever received?
“Your reputation precedes you…and follows you!”
7. When you were younger (ages 5-12), what did you want to be when you grew up? What about that career appealed to your younger self?
When I was younger I wanted to be a pediatrician because I thought that was the major way to help people – when they were sick, especially little kids! The medical field appealed to me because most of my family was in the medical field and I was repeatedly told that I would make a great doctor. However, once I got to college, I realized there was more than the medical field to helping people, and my eye opening came at the right time, because chemistry was a tad challenging at the college level at 7:30am!