Assistant Director of Career Advising, School of Liberal Arts
Katie joined Merrimack in 2016 and is the Assistant Director of Career Advising in the O’Brien Center for students in the School of Liberal Arts. Before Merrimack, Katie worked for the Faculty of Arts & Sciences’ Office of Career Services at Harvard University for 7 years and has worked in the public K-12 system in Hillsborough County, Florida.
Katie has earned a Bachelor of Science in Family & Child Sciences from Florida State University, and a Master of Arts in Teaching, Social Studies Education from the University of South Florida.
What does Katie wish she knew about career development when she was in college?
“I wish I knew that the school even HAD a career center; that there are internships for ALL majors; and how my extensive full-time job in college could be poised and marketed on my resume. That lack of knowledge has shaped what I do today by driving me to make our office visible, accessible, and approachable to all students at the College, regardless of major, minor, status, affinity, gender, sexuality, background, race, ethnicity, etc. “
Specialities and InterestsSchool of Liberal Arts
Assistant Director of Career Advising, School of Science & Engineering
Laura joined Merrimack in the Spring of 2013 and provides comprehensive career guidance and support to students within the School of Science and Engineering. Prior to joining Merrimack, Laura worked as a Student Services Coordinator at a private college planning company guiding high school students and families through the college application and admissions process. Laura earned her BA in Human Development from Boston College and an MS in Counseling from Fitchburg State University. Laura is also a CCE credentialed Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) and licensed School Counselor.
What does Laura wish she knew about career development when she was in college?
I wished that I had learned about the power of networking and how helpful informational interviews can be. Had I known, I think I would have been able to make much more informed career decisions for myself. I try to impart this knowledge to my students and stress the importance of career exploration early on and throughout the four years so that when they graduate they feel confident and ready to take the next steps towards their future career.
Specialities and InterestsSchool of Science & Engineering
Assistant Director of Career Advising, Winston School of Education and Social Policy
Sarah joined Merrimack in 2011 and is the career advisor for students in the Winston School of Education and Social Policy. Prior to working in the O’Brien Center for Career Development, Sarah worked as an Admission Counselor at the University of Hartford and then as an Assistant Director of Admission at Merrimack College. After starting her masters degree she realized she wanted to work more closely with students, and transitioned to focus on career advising.
Sarah received a Master of Education in Higher Education from Merrimack College and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Hartford.
What does Sarah wish she knew about career development when she was in college?
“I wished I had utilized my career center much earlier! I didn’t even think to do an internship until right before my senior year. I ended up not liking the career field I thought I would end up working in. This caused me to reevaluate my personal skills, values, and strengths. Ultimately, this led me to a career that I love, but I wish I had explored this earlier in my college career, so I could have gotten even more experience and internships before I graduated.”
Specialities and InterestsWinston School of Education & Social Policy
Assistant Director, Career Advising, Girard School of Business
Joe joined Merrimack in 2015 and is one of two career advisors for students in the Girard School of Business. Prior to Merrimack, Joe started his career in Higher Education with the University of New England, then moved to Southern New Hampshire University where he assisted in the growth of the Military Career Advising department.
Joe earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Plymouth State University in NH and his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Keene State College. Joe is also a Certified Career Development Facilitator through Lengel Vocational Services, Inc. and holds a Graduate Certificate in the Human Side of Enterprise (HR).
What does Joe wish he knew about career development when he was in college?
“I didn’t realize how important internships and related work experience is as students transition from college into the work force. The more experiences a student has the more opportunities there will be after graduation.”
Virtual walk-in hours with Joe are Monday – Thursday from 1-3pm.
Specialities and InterestsGirard School of Business
Business Career Advisor
Morgan joined the staff at Merrimack in the Spring of 2018. Shortly after graduation in 2017, Morgan became a graduate assistant for the Lucey Advising Center while studying for her Masters, realizing she enjoyed working with students to help them develop their own individual career paths.
Morgan earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing) from Merrimack in 2017 and is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Managment.
What does Morgan wish she knew about career development when she was in college?
“I wish I better utilized all the resources that were offered to me because there were so many opportunities to network and become a better professional. This influences my work today because I now make it a top priority to ensure that all students are knowledgeable and aware of the importance of networking and experiential learning and that they are utilizing the many resources offered.”
Virtual walk-in hours with Morgan are available Monday through Thursday from 1-3pm.
M. Cristina Fernández
Career Advisor, School of Health Sciences
Cristina joined Merrimack in the Fall of 2020 and serves as the Career Advisor for the School of Health Sciences. Her goal when working with students is to support them to cultivate and achieve their professional goals so that they take the next steps in their career journeys with confidence.
Before Merrimack, Cristina enjoyed a career in Human Services, supporting adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities to obtain and retain competitive employment. Cristina holds a BA in Psychology from Florida International University and an MA in Community Social Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is a Certified Employment Support Specialist (CESP) through APSE and insists that she cannot get through her day without a cup of café con leche.
What does Cristina wish she knew about career development when she was in undergrad?
“In short – anything. I was an excellent student, but when it came to skill marketing and job search basics, I was a disaster. Accessibility of university services looked much different back then; not everything had migrated online, and FIU was a massive school whose two main campuses were separated by the entirety of Greater Miami. We were registering for classes on paper and then waiting in line at the registrar. It seemed like too much of a hassle to so much as figure out where the Career Services department was located, much less utilize any of their services. Besides, I was about to enter the working world with a Bachelor’s degree from a top-rated university, which I assumed would be sufficient enough to launch me toward a lucrative career. Doors would swing open, the red carpet would roll out, and I’d waltz right into the job of my choice.
Spoiler alert: That’s not how it works.
The lack of vocational guidance meant that I made a lot of foolish, preventable mistakes early on in my job search. I had a resume, but it was poorly formatted and didn’t highlight my skills and education adequately. I landed interviews, but I was routinely late for them (“Cuban Time” does not apply to interviews – who knew?), wasn’t dressed for the part, and didn’t give effective answers. I wasted a lot of time before finally being offered an opportunity. I wish I had taken advantage of Career Services as an undergrad, even if it was just a single mock interview or resume review.”
Career Advisor Graduate Fellow
Michelle joined the O’Brien Center for Career Development at Merrimack this year as a Graduate Fellow while pursuing her M.Ed in Higher Education. Prior to enrolling in Merrimack’s fellowship program, Michelle earned her Bachelors of Science in Business Management at Bentley University, spent a year serving various communities as a member of AmeriCorps NCCC, and a couple years working as a Membership Director for the YMCA of Greater Boston.
What does Michelle wish she knew about career development when she was in college?
Networking is not as scary as it seems! Most people are willing to help and take joy in sharing their resources and knowledge. I wish I was less anxious about growing my network and setting up informational interviews during my undergrad experience. Once you hit send on an email or engage in a conversation, the subsequent connection is an invaluable resource that can help you throughout your career.
Career Advisor, Graduate Fellow
Rachel joined the O’Brien Center for Career Development at Merrimack College this year as she pursues her M.Ed in Higher Education in hopes to work in the Career Development field after graduation. Her responsibilities as a Career Advisor allow her to connect with students from a variety of majors and support them through their career exploration and development! Prior to Merrimack, Rachel graduated from Saint Anselm College with a degree in Communication and worked at her own Career Center at Saint A’s.
What does Rachel wish she knew about career development when she was in undergrad?
Lean into your career center as soon as you can! I was really intimidated when it came to my own career development because I felt unprepared. Truth is, it’s okay if you don’t have it all figured out. A career path has a lot of twists and turns and I’d argue that the journey is the best part. I wish I stopped into my career center way before my senior year and learned about all the resources available to me because a lot of my worries went away the second I left my first appointment with my Career Advisor!
Career Advisor and Success Coach Graduate Fellow
Brianna graduated from Skidmore College in 2018 with a Bachelors in Psychology, and played for their women’s soccer team. Since graduating Brianna has been drawn to higher education and realized her interest in helping students with their academic pursuits. She started her career at Boston University in Student Affairs and now works at the Harvard Kennedy School in Alumni Relations and Development. Currently, she is a Graduate Fellow while pursuing her M.Ed in School Counseling.
What does Brianna wish she knew about career development when she was in college?
I wish I had taken the time and was shown how to connect with alumni and expand my network to learn more about the jobs and careers that are out there. There are so many paths to try out and informational interviews with people in the field would have been so helpful in narrowing down those paths.
Associate Vice President of Career and Professional Development & Managing Director of the Bouchard Center
Michaele Morrow is the Associate Vice President for Research and Development and Managing Director of the Bouchard Center in the O’Brien Center for Career Development at Merrimack College. She earned her undergraduate and Master’s degree in accounting at West Texas A&M University and worked in public accounting in Texas before pursuing her PhD at Texas Tech University. She is a CPA licensed in Texas. Her research interests include individual and corporate income tax and the effect of tax policy on taxpayer behavior. Professor Morrow is a national tax instructor for PwC and KPMG, and she also worked closely with students as director of a low-income tax preparation center for Boston-area residents and international students for over a decade. She is a 2019 Boston Business Journal 40 Under 40 Honoree.
Director of Communications
Before joining Merrimack in 2019, Marge worked at Gordon College as the Director of Presidential Initiatives and as a Regional Marketing Manager for Pearson Education. Having obtained her marketing degree from Bridgewater State University, Marge’s career has focused on strategic development, institutional events, and marketing communications to advance the goals, growth and branding of the institutions in which she has been employed.
What does Marge like best about working in the O’Brien Center for Career Development?
“My colleagues in the O’Brien Center have a deep commitment to the professional growth of our students and go the extra mile to ensure that all students have the opportunity for experiential learning. I am proud to be part of a department that advances the mission of the College and cares so deeply about our students’ success.”
Director of Employer Engagement
Samantha joined Merrimack’s professional staff in July 2012 after serving as a graduate career advisor for first-year business students. Following Samantha served in various roles across the center, from advising to operations. Samantha is now the Director of Employer Experience, supporting employers as they seek to connect with students and the Merrimack community.
Samantha earned her M.Ed in Higher Education from Merrimack College, and her B.B.A. in Hotel, Resort, & Restaurant Management from Northwood University, West Palm Beach, FL.
What does Sam wish she knew about career development when she was in college?
“My alma-mater had a significant focus on networking and continuous personal/professional growth built into every course we took. We were strongly encouraged to attend local networking events for our industry once per month, to get business cards, to send thank you notes, to engage in internships/co-ops. The continuous reminder to interact with others and engage in each opportunity shaped my entire future and remains with me in the work that I do now in career development.”
Assistant Director of Employer Engagement
Shannon has been a member of the employer-facing team in the O’Brien Center for Career Development since August 2018, starting her time as the Corporate Engagement & Employer Relations graduate fellow. Shannon came to Merrimack with experience in Admission in the Midwest and currently connects with employers building their organizational brand and recruiting strategies on campus in her role as our Assistant Director of Employer Engagement.
Shannon earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Organizational Science from Coe College and her Master of Education in Higher Education at Merrimack College.
Internship Institute Specialist
Kate joined Merrimack in 2019 and is the Internship and CO-OP Specialist for students in the Internship Institute program. Prior to working in the O’Brien Center for Career Development, Katie worked as the Director of School-Based Programs for a nonprofit in Salem, MA. After partnering with the public schools for four years, she realized she wanted to work more closely with students, and transitioned to a position in Salem High School as the Internship and CO-OP Coordinator where she developed their internship program and enhanced community partnerships.
Kate received a Master of Education in Community Engagement and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Merrimack College.
What does Kate wish she knew about career development when she was in college?
I wish I knew the importance of internships as a freshman! It wasn’t until my senior year that I took advantage of an internship opportunity and realized that I didn’t actually want to pursue a professional career in the field I was studying. Participating in internships and job shadowing as early as freshman year can really help you navigate your career pathway!
Events & Operations Specialist
Ashley joined the O’Brien Center for Career Development at Merrimack College in 2018 as the Events and Operations Specialist. Her work focuses on planning all major events for the O’Brien Center, including career fairs, networking receptions and round tables, and the bi-annual Professional Development Retreat.
Ashley earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Food Science at the University of Vermont.
Internship Institute Graduate Fellow
Madison graduated from Merrimack College in 2019 with a BA in Human Development and Education. During her time at Merrimack College, she was involved on campus through peer mentoring and tutoring younger students. For the past year, she has been a Lead Teacher at a school in Andover, Massachusetts and developed curriculum for the school. Although she loved her students, Madison realized how much she missed working with college students and empowering them to engage in lifelong learning. Currently, Madison is pursuing her M.Ed in Higher Education at Merrimack College and is a Graduate Fellow in The O’Brien Center for Career Development.
What does Madison wish she knew about career development when she was in college?
Although I knew about the Career Center in undergrad, I didn’t realize how much support they offered and how to take advantage of it. I personally didn’t take advantage of the services until my senior year. I want to make sure that all students on campus know about how impactful the O’Brien Center can be in their journey and how to utilize the resources from the start.
Student Engagement and Social Media Fellow
Emma joined the O’Brien Center for Career Development this year while she pursues her M.Ed. in Higher Education. Her position allows her to work closely with the undergraduate interns in the O’Brien Center and support them through their career journey. Prior to Merrimack, Emma graduated from the University of New Hampshire in May 2020 with a degree in Communication. Her undergraduate coursework centered around dialogue, teamwork, collaboration, and organizational communication and helped her become an advocate for effective dialogue and communication and the ways that these skills support growth and understanding while contributing to a more compassionate community. Emma was very involved in student organizations on campus and worked for her career center at UNH, specifically in the College of Liberal Arts, and those experiences led her to pursue a career in higher education.
What does Emma wish she knew about career development when she was an undergrad?
Working for the career center in my undergrad, I was much more informed than most of my peers. Especially being in the College of Liberal Arts and the liberal arts tending to be less career-centric and more skills-centric, many liberal arts students ended up in their senior year with no internships or experiences to help them get a job post graduation. For all of you Liberal Arts students out there, don’t forget to pursue internships or co-ops – they are so important in helping you determine what career path is right for you! Having a degree in liberal arts is amazing because it opens up so many doors to so many careers that you might never have thought of, but you are learning the types of transferable skills that employers value. I did a hospitality internship because that’s what I thought I wanted and, if I hadn’t, I never would have realized that hospitality wasn’t the right fit for me! Internships give you the amazing opportunity to try out different career paths – take advantage of that!