Houghton College welcomes Kimberly J. Pool to the position of director for the new Vocational Opportunities and Career Advising Office (VOCA). VOCA will focus on increasing student awareness of vocation, expanding and coordinating internship opportunities, and strengthening the approach to career readiness and transition to the workplace.
Pool has a master of science in higher education from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where her research thesis topic was “A Qualitative Study of Undergraduate Academic Internships for Business Majors at Three Private Institutions.” She also holds a bachelor’s of art in business administration from Hanover College.
“This is an exciting time for the college,” said Pool. “Our students will receive the breadth of knowledge and hands-on experience needed to prepare them for meaningful careers through which they can live out their callings.”
Pool has extensive experience in vocation and career advising, having served as assistant director of the career center and coordinator of graduate school information at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Pool also was the career consultant for Career Keys in Evansville, Indiana and for the career management center at the University of Rochester’s Simon Graduate School of Business, along with being a career counselor at Hobart and William Smith College, and most recently as NetVUE funded vocational specialist in Houghton College’s career services office.
“Both her record and the interview clearly demonstrated her passion for connecting with people and for helping students to fulfill their life’s calling,” commented Linda Mills Woolsey, dean of the college.
The creation of the VOCA office is a result of Houghton’s increased effort to assist its student base, both undergraduate and adult students, not only in the classroom but also post-graduation. This is part of a larger restructuring of Houghton’s education platform to keep the educational experience fresh for the 21st Century.
“Houghton is committed to offering our students an education that equips them with skills that will serve them well in the workplace and the world,” stated Woolsey, “even as we continue to offer the rich experience of learning in a community that has been a hallmark of a Houghton education.”
This new office will combine the rich tradition of vocation education and programming led by Houghton faculty, staff and student leaders with clear strategies to sharpen and hone a student’s market readiness.