Senior Profile: Pamela Ghigliotti
By Amanda Glodowski
The offices within the division of student affairs didn't just enable senior Pamela Ghigliotti's success, they inspired her career.
When Ghigliotti entered Harpur College in 2011, she was quick to take advantage of the academic resources available to her.
"I'm definitely a planner," Ghigliotti said. "The Discovery and Harpur advisors helped me decide on my majors, and gave me different options for routes to get there."
She'll graduate this spring with dual degrees in English rhetoric and theatre technical design. But Ghigliotti discovered, her passion lies outside of the classroom — in student affairs. She got her first taste of helping students achieve success sophomore year as social vice president of Cayuga hall.
"I put on events for residents and served as a resource to them; and I learned that I loved lending a hand to the entire community," Ghigliotti said.
This involvement in hall government, along with encouragement from her Resident Director, Caitlin Trosko, prompted Ghigliotti to become a resident assistant (RA) the following year.
However, Ghigliotti's involvement spanned far beyond the trees of College-in-the-Woods. Through the Admissions Office, she became program coordinator for student ambassadors, where she plans visit programs, interacts with prospective students and shares what Binghamton has to offer.
Ghigliotti also served as an Orientation Advisor (OA) in summer 2013. It was during this time that she learned the full scope of what Binghamton had to offer.
"Every day for three weeks, a different representative came in from a different offices across campus. We were able to personally connect with them to learn how to best benefit students, so we could then take that information and apply it ourselves," Ghigliotti said.
It was her experience as an OA where Ghigliotti realized how rewarding helping students could be.
"Students would be panicking before making their schedules, and that's all they were worried about. To be able to work with them for a few hours and watch them go from having no idea, being overwhelmed and second- guessing college, to being calm and walk out of the PODS with a sigh of relief, was an amazing feeling." Ghigliotti said. "It was extremely satisfying to see them leave campus and know that they were confident in what they were going to return to,"
Though Ghigliotti prides herself on helping others, she admits that sometimes, she needs help too.
"One of the things I promote the most is the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development. No matter what level of school you're in, the career center staff help with everything from the basics to more advanced matters," Ghigliotti said. "Sophomore year I didn't even have a cover letter, and they helped me structure it so that I was comfortable submitting it. I still check in with them when I apply for positions to make sure everything is correct, and when I leave I feel confident that I will be perceived as a stronger candidate."
Ghigliotti also applied to do the Liberal Arts through Externships (LACE) program through the Fleishman Center. In LACE, undergraduates shadow alumni at their jobs for a number of days over winter or summer break, enabling students to explore different career paths.
Ghigliotti was paired with Deborah Broderick, '81, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at New York University.
"LACE was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had," Ghigliotti said. "It was a great way to see another higher education environment. It was a unique opportunity to be in a work setting and see a job first hand, but in a way that was more shadowing. I didn't have to take on much responsibility, but still had a great learning experience. It's almost a pre-internship training course where you can really get your feet wet."
Ghigliotti has recently been promoted to head RA of O'Conner Hall, where she serves as a liaison between the 15 RAs and professional staff. After graduation, she will start a two-year program at Penn State to get her masters in higher education with a student affairs emphasis, while working as a graduate assistant in the Residential Life central office.
Ghigliotti's says her decision to pursue higher education as a career was a no-brainer.
"I was looking at all the things I was involved with — admissions, orientations, ResLife — and realized they could be a career path," Ghigliotti said. "Most importantly, the fact that I was choosing to do them meant I was passionate."