Marianne Brigola ready to help Communications students find their path
The new assistant director of Career Services for the School of Communications will prepare students for internships and careers.
Marianne Brigola knows that students today are dealing with pressure from several sources: academics, home, leadership positions. Brigola, the new assistant director of Career Services for the School of Communications, says she believes students “are being pulled in a lot of different directions, and they also feel as if they have to figure out what they are going to do with the rest of their lives.”
The stress of this tension in priorities can be overwhelming for students, so in her new position, Brigola wants to help communications majors foster a clear vision that will lead them to successful internships and careers … because she can empathize with their uncertainty.
In fact, for much of her time as an undergrad, her path remained undefined. She studied pre-law, then moved to professional writing, then to therapy. She even did an internship with a magazine the summer before her senior year, where she learned she was not as interested in magazine publishing as she thought.
“I tried all these different things, which was great because I could say I had this experience and liked this part of it but not another,” Brigola said. “So what am I going to do next?”
Brigola did her career exploration on her own as a student at Virginia Tech. She never used her career development center as an undergrad. But that’s not a piece of advice she’d pass along to the Elon students she’ll soon be helping.
“I want to make sure students now aren’t as lost as I felt,” said Brigola, who is succeeding Ross Wade. “My goal is for students to get to know me and meet with me at least three or four times throughout their academic career at Elon.”
Some students may already recognize Brigola, though, who previously served as a Career Fellow in Elon University’s Student Professional Development Center during the 2011-2012 academic year. She followed that up with a summer stint as the assistant coordinator for the Elon in Los Angeles program and as the program coordinator for the bridges in Los Angeles program.
After leaving Elon, she worked for the next year as a career counselor for the College of Arts and Sciences Career Services at the University of Virginia. Now she’s back and excited to work with Elon students and alumni again.
“One of the main reasons I applied was because I had such a great experience with the fellowship,” Brigola said. “Elon is really a community in the sense that you get to know students, faculty and staff, and I really value that in a work environment.”
In her new role, Brigola will continue to offer workshops and training sessions that will cover major areas of student interest, including resume writing, cover letter writing and job interview strategies. She’ll also visit classes and hold drop-in hours (1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays).
“It’s all about meeting the students where they are in their academic careers,” she said. “I want to support them and help give them a different perspective.”
MARIANNE BRIGOLA'S 3 TIPS FOR THE JOB SEARCH
- WORK ON BUILDING YOUR BRAND NOW: Start crafting your self-marketing materials (resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profile, e-portfolios, etc.).
- BEGIN EXPANDING YOUR NETWORK: Conduct informational interviews throughout the year with people in industries/jobs/companies you are interested in.
- MONITOR YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE: One of the first things employers will do is Google potential applicants. Be mindful of how you are representing yourself on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, etc.
- (BONUS TIP) MAKE AN APPOINTMENT: It's never too early to start developing your job search strategy.