Investment & Outcomes

Palm Beach Atlantic University graduate Danielle Hawk

Danielle Hawk '17

Ministry

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Describe your current job role:

I am the coordinator for the David and Leighan Rinker Center for Experiential Learning (RCEL) at Palm Beach Atlantic University. My department helps students and faculty with international travel—including serving and studying abroad. I advise study abroad students about organizing their semester away. I also assist other departments on campus in implementing their international travel programs, which includes administrative, risk management and insurance duties.

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

Before I graduated, I was in a gap-year program and worked for a ministry in El Salvador and Guatemala. That began the trajectory of my career and I landed a job at RCEL, serving for almost four years before my current position. I also spent a semester studying abroad in London. I also did two internships at a church in Philadelphia, working with students. My  concentration is in student ministry.

What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

I wish I knew that my ministry major meant more than a single career choice! I  had assumed my only choice was directing ministry efforts at a church or a non-profit. I studied in that frame of  mind. In reality, I use those skills and knowledge to advise college students every day.

"As a supervisor, I love seeing my employees take charge when they identify something that needs to change. Go for it!"

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

My professors and supervisors at PBA were always open="open" to answering my questions, whether academic or professional. They gave me great constructive feedback on all of my work  which helped me gain the skills I utilize as a professional.

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

Don’t be afraid to take a job even if it isn’t what you thought you would do once you started working.  I never dreamed I would stay in West Palm Beach or work in my current field, but I am so glad I took this path. Be bold, make creative moves and take initiative. As a supervisor, I love seeing my employees take charge when they identify something that needs to change. Go for it! That attitude keeps a job fun, interesting and conveys a deep sense of purpose.

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? If so, what impact has that had on you?

It was a privilege to have Dr. Randy RIchards, the previous director of the Rinker Center for Experiential Learning (and current provost and chief academic officer), to guide me through my first year in RCEL. His advice and expertise  ffered unparalleled opportunities and I am so grateful. My memberships in education abroad associations also give me valuable connections with experts in my field. I often meet them at annual conferences and workshops.    


Spotlight posted in July 2018. For current updates from Danielle, find her on LinkedIn. 

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