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How to Choose a Major: Exploring Careers

As you explore majors and career options, ask the people around you why they chose their fields and what they like about their work. Here are some perspectives from Immaculata employees working in a variety of professions.

Human Resources

Nivine Rihawi, Assistant Director of Human Resources

College degree: Business Administration and Professional HR Certification

Would you want to have a career where every day on the job is unique? Would creating a better workplace environment be something that might interest you? Then a career in human resources might be a great option for you!

In our department, we work with all aspects of HR from recruitment, benefits, and pay administration, to employee relations and organizational development. We also get to engage and interact with all segments of our employee population, such as faculty, administrators, and staff.

I love working in HR because it combines my passion for helping others, interest in business and organizational development. I also truly value being part of a team driven by the desire for improving employee diversity, experience and morale, even in small ways.

A career in HR is not always easy. We get to see people on their worst days, but thankfully also on their best days. But even on the most challenging days, I do find it extremely rewarding.


Jessica Gilpert, Director of Counseling Services

College degree: Social Work

Twenty years ago, I was working in a corporate position as a technical writer/quality assurance technician and wasn’t feeling fulfilled. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) pointed out that counseling might be a good career change for me, because I’m a person that friends come to when they are struggling.

I really enjoy being a counselor. I love helping uncover hidden strengths and hearing everyone’s stories; I’ve learned so much from my clients over the years. Also, being a counselor forces you to look at your own “stuff,” and I feel like I’ve grown so much from the work. I would highly recommend being a counselor—it has changed me for the better.

Sports Management

Jayson Hyman, Assistant Athletic Director of Recreation/Head Men’s Basketball Coach

College degree: Exercise Science

Being a coach and assistant athletic director provides me the opportunity to build and grow relationships through sports and education. We get to share with each other our triumphs and defeats and all the emotions they entail; this brings us all closer over time. Sports is a societal connecting point, working in this field provides a fulfilling career and lifetime experiences.

Emergency Response; Campus Ministry

Jessica Morrell, First Responder; Associate Director of Campus Ministry

College degrees: Emergency Planning and Management (in progress); Catholic Theology and Pastoral Ministry

In regards to being a first responder, this changes every day, and that is my favorite part. We are here to support the community and serve others. This may mean putting out a fire in a home, extricating a person from a wrecked vehicle, responding to a child almost drowning in a swimming pool, a gas leak in a neighborhood, a car stuck in a flooded roadway, a flipped kayaker…to name a few from this past month. However, what I love the most is being involved and connected with my community and helping people feel safe and protected during times of crisis. Being a first responder is so much more than putting water on fire, it is being a part of the community.

The things I enjoy most about being a campus minister specifically at IU are getting to know and work with the students. It is a gift to watch them grow and learn every day. To be a part of their journey especially during this pivotal time in their lives is a true gift. Taking students on service trips and adventure retreats is my absolute favorite thing I do. It is so special to be able to watch students serve and work alongside people from all over the world and just as exciting to be there walking with them as they go outside of their comfort zone to rock climb or whitewater raft for the first time.


Elise Girard, Director of Student Health Services

College degree: Nursing

I honestly got into nursing for job security knowing that I would always have a job in any state in the country. I got out of nursing so much more than I could’ve imagined. I found my vocation in nursing because I truly enjoy helping and caring for people in need. I spent many years in the beginning of my career in the fast-paced hospital ICUs with life and death decisions and now have the wonderful opportunity to work with comparatively healthy college-age people.

I enjoy enabling the students to take charge of their own health care needs. I meet them where they are, empower them to take charge of their health care needs and educate them on how to make good choices to be healthy and successful while at college. My hope is they take those lessons with them as they move on to their next phase in life after college.


Joanne Cristinzio, Controller

College degree: Business Management

As controller of Immaculata University, I am part of a team that is responsible for accounting for the university’s revenue and expenses. The timely and accurate recording of these transactions helps with analyzing variances to budget as well as finalizing the financial statements that are shared with university administration.

There are various aspects of this role that are both rewarding and challenging, such as the implementation of new accounting standards and the completion of the annual financial audit. Both of these responsibilities require organizational and analytical skills to make sure they are accurately completed by the required timelines. These tasks, along with continuing professional education, keep me current on technical accounting updates relating to non-profit higher education.

If you have a natural drive to work with numbers and are interested in accounting and financial reporting, you may want to pursue a career as a controller.

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