Student Affairs - Fostering Student Learning and Success

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Cwilliams05@gmail.com
(Boston)

Current employment and/or volunteer work:
I work in Boston at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, doing workforce development policy work.  That essentially means working in the effort to better connect public higher education with work opportunities and talent needs of employers in high growth industries, such as IT, clean energy, health care, etc.  I graduated with a law degree from Carolina as well, and practiced at a big law firm for a couple of years, but my career has been more connected with policy and higher education – I worked for Governor Patrick early in his first term in Economic Development policy, then worked as Chief of Staff to a University President here in Massachusetts, and have no returned to state government in my current role.

Suggestions/recommendations for current UNC students regarding career preparation, job searches, or career success:
Think about the type of things you want to do in your job before going straight to content – what are the types of activities you’d like to do every day, and what roles encourage those things?  Not to preclude doing something you care about, but if you’d rather be working with people, an office job or an organization you love may not be the right fit.  That said (and I’ll contradict myself here to some degree), know that especially early in your career, it’s hard to fully know what opportunities will present themselves.

I’ve found work in state government to be extremely fulfilling in that way – because we tend to work on much smaller budgets than in the private sector, but on issues with potential for high impact. I’ve found amazing opportunities to do things I never would have known would be possible until I was inside state government.  So be open to what’s possible.

I also think that the marketplace and economy is changing really quickly, and your generation of graduates is having to adapt in ways that we never would have even thought about 13 years ago, when I graduated. So I’d encourage folks to think about that while you’re in school and utilize the opportunity (and privilege) to develop marketable skills and think beyond graduation day.

What do you know now that you wish you would have known as a UNC student?
I wish I had thought more about the way the world was changing, and had done some learning in technology, computer science and business in addition to the classes I took in International Studies and Women’s studies (which I would also do over again).  I think I took advantage of a lot of opportunities at Carolina, but also wish I could have fully understood how special (and fleeting!) the time is in undergrad.  I think I sucked the marrow out of the time fairly well, but might even more another time around.

I would be willing to be a resource to students by…
Providing information/advice about my current career area, my geographic area, internship or summer employment opportunity with my organization, and regarding pursuit of graduate or professional degrees.  Also, sharing experiences regarding disclosure or nondisclosure of LGBTQ identities on applications, to employers, or to colleagues.