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Pace Assistant Director Values Job Because of Connection with Students

Nicole+Catalfamo.+Courtesy+of+Nicole+Catalfamo.
Nicole Catalfamo. Courtesy of Nicole Catalfamo.

Nicole Catalfamo. Courtesy of Nicole Catalfamo.

Nicole Catalfamo. Courtesy of Nicole Catalfamo.

Lia Tassinari, Social Media Editor

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There are few Pace faculty members who make students their utmost priority, and Nicole Catalfamo is one of them.

Catalfamo, professor and Assistant Director of Dyson Programs and Services, graduated from Pace with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Psychology and Human Relations, as well as a Master’s Degree in Counseling. However, Catalfamo’s dream was to help and support others.

“When I was a student, I used to go to my Career Service counselor often,” the assistant director said. “I always thought that I wanted to work with children, so I did my internship at a guidance counselor’s office in middle school. I never saw one student. So I thought this was probably not the best fit for me. So I was like, ‘I kind of like old people, too,’ so I went to work with them. I cried every day. So I said to my career service counselor, ‘I want to do what you do [because] you help college students in a positive way.”

Catalfamo became Pace’s graduate intern at Career Services in New York City the semester before she graduated and attained the same job full-time the semester after she graduated.

The commute from Bergen County, NJ, was energy-draining, but she was grateful for the opportunity.

“During [my internship], I gained a lot of experience and there happened to be a position open [once I graduated],” Catalfamo said. “I always said I’d never work in the city, but I truly enjoyed that experience [although] it was a little bit different from the position that I’m in now.”

There was a job opening for Catalfamo’s position on Pace’s Pleasantville campus in December 2015. Catalfamo was even happier with this position because its “college-feel atmosphere” felt more like home.

The assistant director’s current job deals with numbers, data entry, and reporting on internship placement for Dyson students.

This job title also requires her to teach a “Career Planning and Jobs Search Strategies” course for Dyson as well.

Catalfamo hosts the “How to Work a Career Fair Workshop” event once per semester and the “Resume Workshop” event twice per week. She meets with at least 25 students every week and admits that some of the best experiences that she’s had while working at Pace are with students.

“Some students don’t have a lot of confidence in themselves and say, ‘Oh, I’ll just go work as a waitress or as a babysitter,” Catalfamo said. “But these are all skills that you can take to the next job. So, a lot of my job is for building up students and relieving anxiety and that’s something that always stands out to me. That sense of relief on their face when they do secure an internship or they call me and they’re so excited and they actually tell me [that they landed an internship] stands out.”

The ultimate goal is to take her job to the next level by creating a bigger team of counselors to increase student engagement. She would also like to have her current class be a requirement for sophomores, juniors and seniors to better prepare them for future jobs.

In the meantime, she looks forward to meeting and inspiring Pace students and to help them as much as she possibly can.

“[All my students] stand out to me and it makes my job very rewarding,” Catalfamo said.

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