Jennifer Browne is the Director of Career Development & Experiential Learning at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She has worked in the area of career development in both community/non-profit and post-secondary settings.
In one sentence, describe why career development matters.
Dr Ken Robinson said, “People who love what they do often describe themselves as lucky.” I believe career development matters because it helps create a world filled with “lucky” people who reach their full potential and, ultimately, are happier.
Which book are you reading right now?
Three books started right now, The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want by Sonja Lyubomirsky, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson and Bossypants by Tina Fey. All are excellent and I highly recommend them.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
In kindergarten I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be in front of the class and allowed to write on the chalkboard. In high school I wanted to be a speech pathologist and completed my first degree towards that path. During my undergrad I got involved in student leadership programs and was exposed to a whole new field. I loved helping my fellow students adjust to university and upon graduation decided I wanted to do an MEd in student services. I decided I wanted to focus on career development and help others figure out their gifts and achieve their dreams. I wanted to ease their transition to the workforce and I have never regretted this career choice. I love what I do!
Name one thing you wouldn’t be able to work without?
Old fashioned pen and paper. I am constantly making lists of things to do. I know that the gadgets have lots of note-taking applications but nothing is more gratifying to me than crossing a line through something that is completed.
What activity do you usually turn to when procrastinating?
I usually end up getting on the web and perusing my favourite websites. Mostly local, national and international news sites, Facebook, and whatever thing I am researching at that time. It used to be cleaning before the Internet entered my life.
What song do you listen to for inspiration?
Songs have a powerful way of impacting how you feel. “Salt Water Joys” by Newfoundland band Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellas is a beautiful song that centres me and reminds me of what is important in my life. If I am stressed or a little down, stick on almost anything from the 80s and I am smiling again and ready to tackle whatever lies ahead.
Which word do you overuse?
“Fabulous”! I am lucky to have a lot of fabulous people and things in my life so I use it often.
Who would you like to work with most?
I like being around people who inspire others, who walk the talk, are passionate and love what they do. I have been lucky to work with a few people like that and it has been a pleasure. I have given this a lot of thought but no one stands out. There are many people I would love to work with and learn from.
Which talent or superpower would you like to have?
I would go with a talent. I would love to play an instrument and sing.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
There are many things upon reflection I am proud off: my kids, my great relationship with my husband, getting the job as a director, and leading a great team in the career centre to reach their full potential and provide creative, transformative programming and services for students. To choose one defining great achievement is tough. Ask me this again in 20 years and one might jump right out. I am confident more wonderful great things are yet to be achieved and I can’t wait to have these opportunities come into my life.