Alumni Insights Provide Roadmap to Thriving Careers in Human Development and Family Studies

Students gain career wisdom at "Adulting 101: What I Wish I Knew" event

Central Michigan University's Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) recently organized a dynamic event titled, "Adulting 101: What I Wish I Knew," designed to illuminate career pathways for their current students and guide them toward successful careers in Child Development, Family Studies, and Early Childhood. This gathering, hosted in the Education and Human Services building, featured several accomplished HDFS alumni who have gone on to excel in their careers.

The panel discussions featured alumni who shared their career journeys and offered valuable advice to approximately a dozen eager students. In the Child Development & Family Studies Alumni Panel, Miranda Bender, Home-Based Therapist at Community Mental Health for Central Michigan; Morgan Rooy, CAN Program Director at Child Advocacy, Alma; and Beth Sorenson Prince, Director of Impact at the United Way of Gratiot and Isabella Counties, spoke about their experiences.

In the Early Childhood Development Alumni Panel, Kelsey Laird, Director of Professional Programs at the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children; Dr. Ashley Blake, CEO/Founder of Encompass Therapy Center; and Amy Bond, Quality Assurance Specialist at Great Start to Quality, Midland County Educational Service Agency, shared their insights.

The alumni attendees emphasized the importance of fostering strong relationships, having confidence in one's abilities, and taking the initiative when approaching organizations of interest. They thoughtfully addressed students' concerns about the often uncertain financial landscape in the human services field, offering sage advice on job security and career development. Moreover, they encouraged students to proactively propose their own internship ideas to organizations that might not openly advertise such opportunities.

Gina McGovern, an HDFS faculty member, noted that students had requested this event to gain insights into potential career paths and job market navigation. Chelsea Lange, a senior majoring in Child Development, was particularly inspired by the alumni, saying, "I loved hearing how these powerful women thrive in leadership positions because their HDFS education prepared them with the skills to build resilience in ever-changing career fields and value the power that relationships hold in their desire to create change. Beth Sorenson Prince didn't become a CEO because she knew how to do the job duties of a CEO - she brought all the qualities and skills that you want in a CEO, and they said 'We'll train you.' That's empowering!"

Beth Sorenson Prince, Child Development and Family Studies ‘02, Director of Impact at United Way of Gratiot and Isabella Counties, said, "I hope that as a group we were able to provide insight into the various paths that you can take with a degree in child development or family studies."
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