CAM Career Coach Jen Fortenberry

The Career Success Center is located in Academic Building IV in suite 210, and offers the Students of Sam Houston State University opportunities to prepare for their career after college. The College of Arts and Media, College of Health Sciences and College of Humanities and Social Sciences each have their own career coach.

Jennifer Fortenberry is the Career Coach for College of Arts and Media. Fortenberry has been the CAM Career Coach since Aug. 2022. She graduated from SHSU in 2021 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication/Media Studies with an emphasis in film and TV production.

Being a graduate of the Mass Communication program at SHSU has given Fortenberry a great advantage as the CAM Career Coach.

“Going through that program in Mass Communication is such a huge umbrella,” Fortenberry said. “I’ve got to work with every type of CAM student. Being able to relate to them and saying I understand. I’ve been in your position. “

Prior to taking the position of CAM Career Coach, Fortenberry wanted a position that worked with the Arts and Media department. Previously she worked as an admissions counselor of SHSU.

“I talked about Arts and Media everyday,” Fortenberry said. “I saw this position (CAM Career Coach) open and thought it was perfect. Now I get to help students with what I studied in school.”

Since becoming a Career Coach no day has been the same for Fortenberry. She takes appointments from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday With a wide range of services. These services include mock interviews, resume critiques, internship search assistance and many more.

Appointments are offered to current students and alumni. The appointments can be scheduled through campus connect, by calling the Career Success Center at 936-294-1713 or by emailing Appointments can be done either in person or via zoom.

Throughout these experiences, Fortenberry’s favorite part is being able to relate to the students.

“When a student comes in here completely lost and doesn’t know what to do with their career path and they just need a conversation,” Fortenberry said. “Pivoting and finding a way to help them so they leave with a little bit of fresh air in their lungs. That’s my absolute favorite part.”

The biggest thing Fortenberry has learned in her time as the CAM Career Coach is that no students will have the same path, no matter how similar the situation. 

“You could have five people doing a dance degree and they’re all going to do something insanely different,” Fortenberry said. “Even if they come in and you think you’re going to have the exact same conversation, I have never had an appointment that was the exact same.”

Although only three of the colleges at SHSU have Career Coaches, students in a college without a Career Coach are still able to meet with one. The Career Success Center looks to add Career Coaches for those colleges in the future.

While graduate students, undergraduates and alumni are encouraged to visit with a Career Coach, undergraduate students are the target, according to Director of the Career Success Center Benjamin Cantu.

“Why wouldn’t they want to meet with a career coach,” Cantu said. “Our goal here is to help navigate that transition from a student to a full time career person with little to no stress.”

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