Kierra J. Otis – Specialist Spotlight

Kierra is a senior at Mizzou and will graduate in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Interdisciplinary Studies with an Emphasis in Women & Gender Studies.

How can students use the MU Career Center to find their career path?
I think it’s really unique that we offer career counseling as a free service for students. So if you’re having a lot of trouble trying to decide what you want to do in your career, you can meet with a career counselor at the Career Center for free. They have more training and understand the emotional aspects behind career exploration better that career specialists do. However, if you do have a few ideas that you are working with, Career Specialists help to empower students to take it into their own hands, and we give students the tools to reach their goals. We won’t write resumes and cover letters for students, but we are happy to review them and help them through the process.

What has been the most rewarding project you’ve worked on at the Career Center?
I am really proud of the diversity and multicultural lessons I put together for the Career Specialist Training classes. I am a person that likes to work with data, and I was able to do a lot of research to teach our CSITs on how important it is that we are able to serve diverse populations, and how to be better coworkers in the workplace.

What is your favorite resource or service on the MUCC website? 
One of my favorite resources is the What Can I Do with This Major online resource on the MU Career Center website. Students can click on the major they’re interested in and it will give them a list of everything you can do with that particular degree.

How has the MUCC helped you to reach your professional and personal goals?
It gave me a lot of tools to explore different careers and majors, and taught me to be okay with fluidity in that decision. When I started here I was a journalism major and I wanted to do investigative journalism. But throughout Career Specialist training you learn a lot about values and where your interest really lie, and it became clear to me that journalism wasn’t what I wanted to do. I think every year I have changed what I wanted to do. But I know that I have the knowledge and resources at the Career Center to help me find the best path.
As far as reaching my personal goals, the Career Center has helped me to hone in on my leadership skills in a way that I haven’t had to compromise who I am. I am still able to be the same emotional and passionate person here. We celebrate different leadership and working styles and I appreciate that.

Do you have a motto or quote that you live by?
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde, civil rights activist and poet.