Shan Meisner





Ed.M., College Student Affairs - Rutgers University

B.A., German Studies - Rutgers University

How did you get here?

A love of travelling and meeting people from different countries led to my undergraduate major in German Studies and a minor in Asian Studies. It also spurred me to apply for a Fulbright grant to work as an English Teaching Assistant in Germany. Though I loved living abroad for a year and working in education, I figured out that teaching was not exactly my dream job. My favorite part wasn't teaching English grammar and vocabulary, but rather having lunch with my students and getting to know them-- their hopes for the future, friendships and families, hobbies, etc. It was an illuminating experience, but when I came back to the US I had no clue what kind of job to pursue. To be honest, that was an incredibly difficult period in my life, going from living an exciting life abroad to living with my parents again, and facing unemployment while my friends had all moved forward in their careers. Eventually, though, I learned about the field of college student affairs from a friend. Working at a college in an advising/counseling role sounded perfect to me. So I went to grad school, tried out a bunch of different things within student affairs (like working in new student orientation and international student advising), and found that my graduate assistantship at the career center was hands-down what I loved most. I'm so grateful for the winding, and at times challenging, road that led me to UC Berkeley's Career Center.

Who do you work with? What's cool about your job?

I work with all L&S humanities & social science students (specializing in government, law, and public policy), and I'm also the liaison to the Transfer Student Center, so I collaborate with them a lot. I help make sure that our awesome transfer student population has the support and information needed to move forward in career exploration and planning, even whilst adapting to this new environment.

What's cool about my job is that I get to go beyond the small talk of everyday life and delve into important discussions about what people want from life and who they want to be. It’s incredibly cool, and a great privilege. I am so frequently blown away by how motivated, curious, and humble Cal students are.


What's the best career advice anyone has given you?

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” It’s only natural that you’ll compare yourself to your peers, but try not to think solely along the lines of “keeping up” with everyone else. Make sure to consider what courses, internships, extracurricular activities, and career paths spark real interest, and never forget that your career journey is your own, not anyone else’s.


Grocery shopping (Yes, I think of that as a hobby! It's honestly my dream to live above or right next to a Trader Joe's); Reading food blogs and trying out new recipes; Board games with friends; Yoga; City-building/simulator video games; Journaling-- I've kept journals since I was 8 years old! (My very first journal mainly entailed me professing my love for chicken nuggets)

Back to Staff Profiles Home