Meet Shay Masterson, BenU Mesa's new Career Success Coordinator. Shay started on October 1, jumping into the role vacated by Liz Corrigan, and has already made the position her own.
She also recently sat down for a brief Q&A to discuss the path that led her to BenU Mesa, and shared some of the plans (and hopes) she has for the Career Center.
BENU MESA: Talk about yourself — where did you grow up, previous jobs, colleges, etc.
SHAY: I was born and raised in Arizona. I grew up on in the north Phoenix/Glendale area with my parents, brothers, and various family pets. I attended Arizona State University in Tempe, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Women and Gender Studies with a minor in History. After college, I moved cross country, to New York City, and taught high school social studies as a Teach for America corps member. While I loved being in the classroom, and living in the city that never sleeps, my heart drew me back home to Arizona. Since then, my experience and skills have been put to use working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector. In my previous roles, I provided support and guidance to teens and adults seeking new opportunities in career and education through 1:1 coaching, facilitating workshops/trainings, as well as planning events.
BENU MESA: How did you find out about BenU Mesa?
SHAY: I first learned about BenU when I was at an event at the Mesa Arts Center last fall. During a break, I was wandering around downtown Mesa and came across the campus. While it is new to many in the greater Phoenix area, as soon as I mention BenU to friends and family from the Chicago area, I hear great things.
BENU MESA: What drew you to your particular field?
SHAY: Since working with high school students early in my own career, I’ve understood the extreme importance of career exploration and readiness. While working in the nonprofit sector, I had the exciting opportunity to partner with many colleges and universities. Those understandings and experience made me certain that I wanted to transition to working in student services in higher education. The chance to serve as the Career Success Coordinator at BenU is perfect!
BENU MESA: Talk about the position — what ideas/changes do you want to implement?
SHAY: I am still getting a sense of the Student Success Center, the role of the Career Success Coordinator, and the overall needs here at BenU. So far there are definitely some things I think would be great to implement/continue in career services. First and foremost, I want to meet every student! Please stop in and say hi, set up an appointment to talk about your interests and needs. I would like to schedule regular workshops about career exploration, professionalism, resume building, job and internship searches, and successful interviewing techniques. I want to plan fairs and panels to feature various career, internship, and volunteer opportunities. Ideally, I would like to see every student graduate with at least one internship experience.
BENU MESA: Any other tidbits about you?
SHAY: I love to read, and watch way too much TV. In every job I’ve had, I take walks during my breaks. I’m excited to explore the campus and downtown Mesa now.
BENU MESA: What are your first impressions of BenU Mesa?
SHAY: Everyone at BenU has been so friendly and welcoming. It is clear that the students, staff, and faculty have created a community befitting the Benedictine values. I am so excited to be here and serve amongst you all.
I am here for one reason, to serve the students. I am here for you, to support you, and provide the tools to be successful now and into your future. With that said, please come to me with whatever questions and help you may need. If, by chance, I do not have the answers or tools you seek, we will find them together!
BENU MESA: Any additional thoughts you'd like to share?
SHAY: Even though I have lived in the Valley almost all of my life, I am fairly new to the Mesa area, and completely new to BenU so please share your favorites with me (coffee shop, lunch spot, quiet place, activity, etc). Please, stop in and introduce yourself. And be patient with me as I learn and remember everyone’s name and face.
Benedictine University Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine was named among "America's Top Colleges" for the seventh consecutive year in 2017 by Forbes magazine. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (602) 888-5500, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu/mesa.