Saddleback College virtually hosts how to ‘Research Colleges and Universities’

Jennifer Rachman, Career and College Counselor, presenting to a Counseling 60 class. Donnie Mineo/Courtesy

Career guidance specialist, Donnie Mineo, provides helpful ways to find a school right for  students careers

Finding a college or university can be difficult when doing it alone and a student may find it discouraging to look up a school that is right for them. Career guidance specialist Donnie Mineo virtually hosted “How to research colleges and universities,” presenting many ways to find a school right for every student with different career goals. Mineo showed his attendees where to locate the proper tools to help search for a college or university that is either local or out of state.

He gives in-depth conversations about self-assessments, possible career fields and establishing a plan for success. Students are often asked at an early age about what career path they’d like to follow.

“We ask you starting in middle school, ‘what are you going to do for the rest of your life?’ and that’s a very overwhelming question that creates a lot of stress, and it’s amazing how much American society puts stress on an individual going through school,” Mineo said.

Evaluating colleges is an important step in the research process to see what they have to offer for a desired major. When students begin researching careers, they will likely start with a career title.

Sometimes students go through unpleasant phases in their career where they begin to notice that a major or school does not match them causing them to change their mind about their goals. Even though it may feel they’ve lost so much time, the workshop reiterates that it is okay to start another journey to a different school that matches an individual’s heart and mind.

A helpful tip Mineo provides in the workshop is doing assessments such as evaluating a college on how much it cost. Other career assessments available to take are skills a student is willing to build and interests in certain subjects. There are a variety of tools provided for all students to utilize and strengthen their career planning process.

Mineo gives his attendees a tour of using a few of his sources when in the decision-making phase. Researching helps decrease anxiety in the exploration phase as well.

Saddleback student Ian Otott, who is enrolled in Counseling 1 Academic Planning, joins the session to seek advice and guidance into finding a career right for him.

“The main thing I hope to learn is what specific criteria to consider when researching colleges,” Otott said.

Another student, Ane Makakanfaki, is exploring studio art at Saddleback. She is researching schools in Northern California that offer a major of her liking and wants to know more about the costs of moving.

“I want to learn more ways to research colleges and the programs that they have to offer,” Makakanfaki said.

The workshop provides useful tips on exploring majors and careers that may match an individual’s self-assessment, analyzing information that shapes a career goal, researching college programs that can help reach that career goal and help students, in the long run, to find the right job that best suits them.