Massachusetts’ Rehabilitation Commission, Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
Assumption College, Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling
Pine Manor College, Psychology Major
Framingham High School, Framingham, MA
Life After Graduation
After graduation, Vanessa received her Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling from Assumption College in 2013. She is currently employed by the Massachusetts’ Rehabilitation Commission. In this position, Vanessa helps people with mental, cognitive, physical and emotional disabilities find work. “We help match them with assistive technologies or other accommodations that will make individuals with disabilities ready and able to enter the work place." In the future, Vanessa would like to work with disabled veterans.
How PMC Helped Me
Vanessa graduated in 2010 with a major in Psychology. She completed all of her academic requirements in three and half years by bringing in transfer credits and strategically planning her coursework.
The faculty at Pine Manor get to know their students on a personal level because of the small classes and the opportunities to interact outside of the classroom. Professor Ramirez, Vanessa’s academic advisor, remembers the day Vanessa presented her sophomore portfolio at Achievement Day. “I was impressed with Vanessa’s strength and insight into her life. She shared how she was able to overcome adversity in her life and chart a new course for herself and her daughter.” Vanessa was a diligent student who excelled in all of her courses. She found that the courses she took at Pine Manor helped her to “think outside the box and to look at circumstances with a different outlook and a different pair of eyes.”
Vanessa chose Pine Manor because “it was close to home, close to Boston, and had a small Campus.” As a student mom, having a community that understood her needs and aspirations was important to Vanessa. Vanessa commented that, “the faculty took their time in helping me fully understand the topics I studied and in making sure I was working to the best of my abilities. They understood I was a single mom with a young child and were as flexible as possible with me when it pertained to my child. I don't think I would be where I am today if they did not take the time and interest in me as they did. I am very grateful for that.”
Vanessa developed her skills as a counselor through a variety of courses she took in the psychology department. She honed her communication skills in the Counseling and Interviewing class and learned about family therapy in the Psychology of Family. Vanessa applied her excellent reflective skills in Cross-Cultural Psychology, writing about cultural differences and how to be culturally competent when interacting with others from varying backgrounds.
Professor Ramirez recalls that for her senior seminar paper Vanessa chose a topic of significance to her, the impact of fathers on the development of their daughters’ self-esteem. Vanessa had always had a close relationship with her dad and wanted to see how this relationship affected other women. For her senior internship, Vanessa worked at a daycare center close to home. The internship allowed her to examine “how children develop from a psychological point of view.”