Jennifer R.- Guidance Counselor

By , Aurora, IL
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to interview someone who has provided me with great support throughout my middle school years, Mrs. Rinkenberger, Guidance Counselor of Still Middle School.
Why did you choose your job?
I chose the challenging, but very rewarding career of a guidance counselor to help students work through their many issues as witnessed when I was a math teacher, and assisted students with their challenges, worries, concerns, and anxiety over their GPA’s. I decided my time would be better spent helping students develop as they approach young adulthood.
So what you’re saying is that you saw assisting students as a highly rewarding experience?
Yes I did.
In general, do you enjoy your job?
I love my job! I get to work with students and provide motivation so they can perform at their best on assignments, tests, and general communication as they strive to raise their grades. By assisting the students, I’m also helping the teachers, by making their jobs easier and allowing for more progress to be made on a daily basis.
What education is needed in this job?
First you need a four year bachelor’s degree in counseling or a field relating to counseling such as psychology. Afterwards you generally need to get a masters degree in counseling before you can start your practice.


What general skills are needed to be a student counselor?
You need to be a people person and enjoy talking with parents and students. You need good communication skills, which entails talking over the phone with parents or students and computer skills. In addition, exceptional writing skills are required since you write several reports on the development and performance of students. Math plays an important role when calculating a student’s grade point average.
How does your job impact the people around you?
I am able to help students with their lives. For example, say they are having problems at home, and if I can help them focus on their school work, I can help them through their difficulties, so they can raise their grade point averages.
Is there anything exciting about your job?
Well my job is exciting, in that no one day is ever the same. Sometimes, however, I see the same students on the same days every week and there is never a dull moment. Just getting to work with all the different students in itself is an exciting experience.
Is there any one you want to thank for where you are today?
I would say my mother. She was a teacher then she got her counselors degree to help her students. She would help me when I needed it and give advice, and she was always there for me and the one person I could talk to when I was growing up.


Are there many rewarding experiences in your line of work?
Yes there are several, especially when I’m assisting students with their grades so they can raise their grade point average. Also, I find helping a student prepare for a test or having them get into PA or the honor role, or seeing students work through their problems at home, and succeed academically, can be very rewarding.





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