Sarah Dove of Sonoma State University wins Women in Business award

Sarah Dove, director, SBE Career Center, Sonoma State University School of Business & Economics, Rohnert Park (SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY, Feb. 17, 2016)

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Sarah Dove has taught management courses at the university’s school of business but her current role is to help students in a different way — as they move on to careers.

As students seek to use what have learned in a new way, the career center offers a host of “career readiness” opportunities to assist them. The center also helps pave the way by developing “talent pipelines” to employers. And the relationships the center develops with university alumni allows them to reach back to their alma mater to help lift others up.

All of this means a typical busy day, Dove said.

“I juggle calls from and meetings with employers on and off campus, outreach to alumni and current students, partnering with staff and faculty on developing and executing existing and new programs and activities, advising a student club, attending professional meetings, sometimes teaching a course and developing corporate sponsorships,” she said.

ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR COMPANY

Professional background: Teacher, trainer and salesperson.

Education: master of international management, American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird); multiple subjects teaching credential, U.C. Davis; bachelor of arts, piano performance, U.C. Santa Barbara.

Staff: three

I have taught management courses (Cross-Cultural Communication and Negotiation, Organizational Behavior, and Management) in the School of Business and Economics but am currently solely dedicated to directing our career center. The school hosts 1,600-plus students at undergraduate and graduate (MBA and Executive MBA) levels. It also offers professional certificates in wine business and human resources. The career center offers a slate of career readiness programs and activities to students, develops customized partnerships with employers to provide talent pipelines, and maintains relations with a growing number of local alumni.

The employment community has been instrumental to our success. Our mentor program is supported by hundreds of local organizations, providing excellent exposure to students seeking to find or affirm a career choice; the Internship Program, founded 28 years ago, serves local businesses while giving students opportunities to apply classroom learning; and our recently developed Professional Sales Certificate, sponsored by Southern Wine and Spirits, is already garnering national recognition.

It’s rewarding to represent your local four-year institution by providing talent for careers in data analytics, marketing, finance, accounting, wine business, and management trainee programs.

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THE PAST YEAR OR SO

Key partnerships developed with faculty, alumni and employers have accelerated our success in all ways. Our Corporate Partnership Program and Professional Sales Certificate are drawing lots of attention.

WHAT IS THE ACHIEVEMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?

Raising three wonderful children with my spouse of 28 years.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE TODAY?

Finding the right formula for fitting both work and personal goals into my life.

WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE YOU

I’m a straight shooter. I have high performance expectations of myself and others. I’m energetic, curious, and interested in the lives of others.

AS A SUCCESSFUL FEMALE PROFESSIONAL, WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES YOU FACED AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?

Dealing with the pull of both career and parenting aspirations was faced by successful partnering with a supportive spouse.

HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR PROFESSION WILL CHANGE IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?

Career services professionals are constantly seeking the most effective ways to communicate with students. With the increasing number of activities and demands that distract students, the best method is likely good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction. Therefore, to maximize our return on resources spent, I believe we will see more and more mandatory, face-to-face career courses in degree programs across the country.

WHO WAS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MENTOR?

I have sought advice from many people I’ve admired over the years. I’ve also learned a lot through reading a variety of materials that have helped me shape my approach to life.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG WOMAN ENTERING YOUR PROFESSION OR THE WORK WORLD TODAY?

Observe the world around you, listen carefully, ask good questions, and find mentors to help you find your way.

Most admired businessperson outside your organization: Jeff Immelt.

Typical day at the office: I juggle calls from and meetings with employers on and off campus, outreach to alumni and current students, partnering with staff and faculty on developing and executing existing and new programs and activities, advising a student club, attending professional meetings, sometimes teaching a course, and developing corporate sponsorships.

Best place to work outside of your office: Home office.

Current reading: “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi.

Most want to meet: David Brooks.

Social media you most use: LinkedIn.

Stress-relievers: Talking to friends, exercising, reading.

Favorite hobbies: Travel, reading, hiking and swimming.