Q: What’s the most difficult part about your role?

Colleen: The most challenging part – but also the best part – is when students are unsure about what they want to do professionally. For first- and second-year students, it can be difficult to understand where you want to go when you don’t have any experience. That’s why I promote internships to bridge the gap between academics with real-world experience. It requires a lot of work, but I love it. In advising, students must plan their classes but they don’t always come back to our office each semester for follow-up support, so I always give them a next step action plan that requires a return visit. They do the research on their own and when they get stuck, it’s time to come talk to me and we can prepare for an internship, career fairs or networking.

Q: Career decisions can be challenging at any age – how do you encourage your students to make this choice?

Colleen: This career decision is not about the rest of your life; it’s a good fit for right now. You don’t have to be an accountant for the rest of your life because you chose that as a major today. It’s difficult because students think their college decision is forever. I try to meet where they are - do they know what their major is? If they’re targeting finance, do they like the classes but don’t know what to do with it? Do they want to major at Kelley but don’t know which field? If they no have no idea, we give them an assessment through Myers Briggs or Strong Interest Inventory and figure out what they like to do in their free time. If a student likes fashion, sports or entertainment, we can help them narrow down a business career in those fields. I tell them to do what they love because it’ll be easier for them if it’s a natural fit.

Q: What’s something people may not know about you?

Colleen: I’m one of those weird people who loves winter. My family lives in Colorado so I’m always excited for ski season. Skiing in the Rockies is my favorite place to be. I’m from Carmel but my brother and parents move to Colorado and my nieces and nephew are out there so try to go 2-3 times a year, usually right after Christmas. I’ve skied since I was three years old and nowadays, I love to ski at Butte, Aspen and Steamboat. I love the moguls and extreme skiing. You’re working out, you’re outdoors, it’s beautiful and so exciting – what more could you want?

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Colleen loves extreme skiing and mogul skiing.
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Colleen and her siblings ski every year together in Colorado.
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Colleen loves extreme skiing and mogul skiing.