PDC Career Counselor Recognized for Empowering Students
Oscar Fonseca is the Career Counselor at the Palm Desert Campus. He joined the Coyote family nearly three years ago. However, he has worked collaboratively with his colleagues at PDC for 10 years through various roles at the College of the Desert, OneFuture Coachella Valley, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Desert. Overall, he has worked in higher education for 15 years.
Oscar always knew he wanted to work in higher education.
“For me, it was always a goal and a dream to make a difference in my community,” said Oscar. I always knew that I wanted to do what I’m doing now.”
He added, “I just didn't know how but I had amazing mentors that helped me become the professional that I am today.”
Due to his network of community partners, when the PDC Career Counselor role became available, he received multiple messages from educational professionals, civic leaders, and individuals in the business community encouraging him to apply, because each believed he would be perfect for the role.
As a Career Counselor, Oscar helps students gain hands-on experience through jobs and internships. His goal is to help the community see the value in paid internships for students. In addition, he connects students to the different sectors and opportunities in the community.
"I know my official title is Career Counselor, but I feel that I'm a connector,” said Oscar.
Professional development is another component of his role. Oscar conducts career assessments and helps students create a resume, cover letter, and mission statement, which focuses on three sectors: personal, education, and financial literacy. The purpose of the mission statement is to help students develop a plan with a purpose and learn how the three sectors combine so they can establish tangible goals. It has proven to be successful with his students.
In March, Oscar was recognized for his work and earned the OneFuture Coachella Valley Empowering Students Award, which is given to individuals who contribute to the community and have been exemplary in helping to advance the regional plan for college and career success.
According to Oscar, “It was a total shocker. I’m not one person that expects anything out of my work because I love what I do but being recognized was really nice.”