Career Services Advisor Becky Hatten Excels in Helping Students, Grads Prepare for the Future
Life can be full of surprises.
Just ask Becky Hatten. Four years ago, when she was completing her B.A. in Family and Human Development at Arizona State University and working as a Claims Supervisor for Wal-Mart, she had no idea her career path would lead to a position at Carrington College.
“I thought I would end up in some sort of counseling position,” says Becky, who lives in Mesa, Arizona. “As it turned out, my first job after earning my B.A. was as an Enrollment Counselor at a university. I loved interacting with students, but it was limited to a fairly short window of time. Once a student enrolled, I rarely saw them again. While I loved the fast pace, I felt that I could have had more impact if I’d been able to stay engaged with students over a longer period of time.”
When Becky spotted an online job posting for a Career Services Advisor position at Carrington’s Mesa campus, she reviewed the job description and applied that day.
“Sometimes things just fall into place,” says Becky. “After a really great job interview and a tour of the campus, I felt like I’d found a place where I could create strong connections and really make a difference. As it turned out, I was right. Within two days, I received an offer and I started training for my new position at Carrington a few weeks later.”
Since joining the Career Services team two years ago, Becky has helped hundreds of students and graduates navigate their college programs, prepare for externships, and secure jobs in their field of study. She currently advises about 175 current students and 30 graduates in four Carrington programs: Pharmacy Technology, Medical Billing and Coding, Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene. In addition, Becky also facilitates a variety of workshops designed to help students succeed in finding jobs directly related to their education.
“Getting an education is the first step,” Becky says. “Getting a job you want in your field requires an entirely different set of skills. That’s why we offer workshops on professionalism, resume writing, and interviewing, as well as an externship orientation. Part of my job is helping students develop the necessary skills so they can be more successful in pursuing the careers they want.”
Becky also reaches out to employers in the Mesa and metropolitan Phoenix area to place students in externships and to pursue potential employment opportunities for her graduates.
“I often feel like a matchmaker,” Becky says. “My goal is to create a perfect match by sending students and graduates on interviews with companies I think will be a great fit for them. When it works out, everyone wins.”
Over the past two years, Becky says she’s come to understand that employers often value a good personality fit even more than a candidate’s education or previous experience.
“I’ve had many employers tell me they can teach the technical piece of a job to nearly anyone, but what they can’t teach is a positive attitude, great energy, and a solid work ethic,” she explains. “If someone can convey those qualities in an interview, they’re much more likely to get hired.”
Becky believes that understanding what employers value can provide students with a distinct advantage as they enter the job market.
“It’s important to remember that the employer wants to find a good employee just as much as the graduate wants to find a job,” she says. “Interviewing skills can be taught, even to students who might otherwise be reserved. I recently had a graduate interview for a job as a dental hygienist. She’s a wonderful person and very capable, but she’s a bit shy. The dentist wasn’t going to hire her because he didn’t feel she was very enthusiastic. To him, that translated into a lack of interest in the job. I knew them both and was confident it could be a good fit, so I encouraged him to talk with her again. I then talked with the student about how she could be more effective in communicating her interest. She nailed the second interview and was hired.”
That degree of involvement, says Kristi Bobonea, Regional Director of Career Services, is part of what makes Becky such an effective advocate for her students.
“Becky develops strong relationships with students, graduates and employers,” says Kristi. “She was new in Career Services when she joined us, and she has continued to soar in the role. Her personal work ethic and drive to continually grow is a wonderful example to students. She responds to anyone who needs help or guidance and has become a strong trainer and leader. On top of all this, she does things with a positive attitude and a smile.”
Becky, who is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership (with a minor in Human Resources), says she sees every day an opportunity.
“Everyone I work with has come to Carrington because they want to get the education and training they need to improve their lives,” she says. “I connect with students because I can relate to that desire. Many of our students are the first in their family to attend college. They take it seriously, and so do I. I know from experience that having just one person believe in you can make a huge difference, and I love being that person for the students I serve.”