by Stacey Linehan, posted 02/29/2012
After interviewing Willie Pope, my only sadness was that I had not met him sooner in my college career. He is an excellent mentor for students looking for some guidance, especially in their junior and senior years.
Willie works as the Assistant Director of Student Development here at CMASS. He focuses on career development and grad school prep. “When you get out of here, you have to do something, and I want to make sure that whatever that is, whether it be a career or more schooling, that you are prepared to your full potential,” says Willie.
Raised in Springfield, MA and having graduated from UMass himself, with a B.S. in Sports Management and Economics, Willie continued his stay at the University pursuing his passion of helping students make that next step in their development. Willie tells me, “I had some help when I was here so it is my goal to give that type of service back.”
Some of Willie’s biggest events include the ALANA Career Fair and Mock Interviews. He finds these are helpful for networking purposes as well as for constructive criticism. This year the ALANA Career Fair was held on February 7th and was a success. Over 56 companies and 585 students attended the event and positive feedback was received on both ends. Students seemed to find the fair helpful and companies were impressed with how prepared the students were for their questions.
Willie also co-teaches a Communications class, Career Development (COMM297P), with Tommie Joyner. This class is open to juniors and seniors who are looking for ways to make their transition from college to life outside of college run smoothly. “You come to college, right? But, what is your goal? Is it the work force or more school?” asks Willie. No one can make your goals for you but whatever they may be, Willie is here to help you plan the appropriate steps to achieving those goals.
Having reached out to various organizations, Willie has made various amenities available to students and stresses to students to make the right decision and take advantage of them. One example of this is the relationship he built with the Kaplan and Princeton Review to offer students free practice exams. He also has worked with the IRT Graduate Prep Program which works with students on things like how to write a solid statement of purpose when applying for schooling.
Willie works hard to play the middle man connecting students to resources he has seen as successful and valuable. Having worked in this field for 10 years, he has been able to gain a good understanding of what works and what does not. If you do not know Willie Pope, make it a point to stop by his office and get to know him, the sooner, the better. It’s your future and he is here to help.