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In the Spotlight: Love & Passion
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MPACE Member Spotlight - February 2016



Robin Darmon, Director of the Career Development Center at University of San Diego


When we, as career professionals, act upon our passion for facilitating the self-exploration and development of others, we are encouraging them to seek out and act upon their own. In other words, our passion is passion. We are driven to aid our constituents as they embark on lifelong journeys towards actualizing their missions. This process –predicated on the discernment of dissonant or unidentified values – teaches us that passion without strategy, opportunity, and preparation is like a spark without fuel. Robin Darmon, the Director of the Career Development Center at the University of San Diego (USD), is driven to work with her team towards “continually looking at innovative and impactful ways to encourage students to think about lifelong professional development.” Her passion lies in making connections with students and employers, collaborating with campus partners such as the Parent Board, Alumni Affairs, faculty, and administrators, and has a natural inclination for helping employers seek talent for their organization.


Though Robin’s passion drives the Career Development Center’s innovation, the support of the University of San Diego provides the foundation for the center’s success. Their Board of Trustees has prioritized Careers and Admissions, creating a newly remodeled building for the two departments to share in the middle of campus. The new building’s high visibility enables the Career Development Center to actively communicate to potential and current students about the importance of lifelong career development. In the last year, Robin’s team has more than doubled in size, growing from six full-time staff into a group of fifteen “wildly diverse group of passionate professionals.” Robin’s love for her university stems from the fact that “the students are truly the focus at USD. It’s not a tagline – it truly defines every conversation at every level on this campus.”


Aside from leading a team of fourteen career professionals, Robin is an 8-year veteran member of MPACE. In the past she served on its Pacific-South committee and now makes an effort to participate in all of the conferences and workshops it hosts. According to Robin, she learns “so much through the events that MPACE provides. The networking with my peers is so valuable.” When thinking about her history with the organization and her present leadership role, Robin identifies its members as what comes to mind first. “I always tell people that MPACE must have put together the nicest, most professional group of people on the planet! I have learned so much through the relationships and workshops, and conferences.” The passion and collaborative support Robin witnessed within MPACE and its members influenced the progression of her own career. Now, she takes those valuable lessons and shares them with the faculty, staff, and students at the University of San Diego through her leadership.


Passion is a beacon that draws others towards you. It connects like-minded individuals, enhances discovery, and drives progress. As such, it is no surprise that a sign of a thriving organization is that others desire to collaborate with and enhance it. As much as career development professionals share the valuable lessons learned through MPACE with their offices and universities, MPACE benefits from the insights of its many members. Career Centers in particular, have a unique impact on the direction and focus on MPACE by offering the student perspective.  The coordination between university Career Centers and employer partners will only make MPACE more valuable and effective as the two groups continue to engage in dialogue about the needs of both students and employers. As Robin suggests, “we all grow stronger as we learn from one another. Iron sharpens iron. I can always count on peers who help me keep perspective.” While MPACE provides the foundation for career centers to stay grounded in sound practice, the passion of its members drives innovation.


This Spotlight article was compiled by Kathy Kim, M.A. She is the Internship Specialist at the CSU Dominguez Hills Career Center, and can be reached at kakim@csudh.edu or www.linkedin.com/in/katherinejinheekim 


Robin Darmon is the Director of the Career Development Center at the University of San Diego.  Robin can be reached at rdarmon@sandiego.edu or on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/robindarmon


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