Career Champion Spotlight: Cody D. Ryan

Name: Cody D. Ryan

School/College: Institute for Student Success

Department: Office of First Year Programs & Learning Communities

Title: Innovation Zone Makerspace Supervisor

How long have you been a career champion?

Officially since last Spring

Are you involved in any of the Career Champion subcommittees?

Not at the moment

What motivated you to become a Career Champion?

Working with the Center for Career Development in various capacities along with recommendations from various colleagues.

Did you have any professional or personal motivations to become a Career Champion and to integrate career into your class curriculum?

As an instructor of FYE, I have always worked with the Career Center on the Resume Assignment and I try to incorporate various resources available into the training of the student employees, leaders, and users of the Innovation Zone Makerspace.  Overall, I just want to try to provide students with the tools that will help them be successful in life beyond UConn.

What career modules do you integrate into your course and what values and/or skills do your students gain from participating in these assignments?

Although I do not make the modules mandatory outside of my FYE class, I do encourage students to complete them, and I often pull information from them for our in-person training and workshops with our student staff and leaders.  I often hear back from recent graduates who mention that covering the various topics really helped to prepare them for when they interview with potential employers. 

Has becoming a Career Champion impacted how you give students career advice?

Becoming a Career Champion has provided me with additional insight and materials to provide more relevant advice to students who are interested in a variety of career fields.

What advice would you give to a student who is beginning their career development journey?

Having benefited from it myself, I often encourage students to be open to “Planned Happenstance” and create opportunities through unplanned events.  Although the pathway may be different than what we had originally intended, through the development of curiosity, persistence, flexibility, optimism, and risk-taking, we often are able to reach our goal, or discover a new possibility and/or passion that we were unaware of that leads us to a rewarding career. 

By Lily Guberman
Lily Guberman Marketing Assistant