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Meet Vera Teller, Ph.D. of College to Career Coach in Southern California

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vera Teller, Ph.D.

Vera Teller, Ph.D. is a coach, speaker, lecturer, and author whose core purpose is to educate, prepare, and motivate students through college to competitively apply for and succeed in careers post-college.

As a coach, Vera works one-on-one with high-school and college students outlining the steps to take in college to prepare for pursuing a career after graduation.  Vera speaks on college to career topics to highlight those opportunities often overlooked by college students.

As a lecturer, Vera is on staff at California State University Dominguez Hills in the College of Business Administration and Public Policy. Her professional career spans over 25 years’ experience in business, management, and information systems as Director of Systems and Programming for Safeway (Vons) and Trader Joe’s, consultant for EDS, and Program Manager for WellPoint.

Vera is the 2019 recipient of the Catherine H. Jacobs Outstanding Faculty-Lecturer Award at California State University Dominguez Hills. The award honors a CSUDH faculty who has demonstrated excellence in teaching effectiveness.   

Vera is author of the books, “Check It Off! Pave Your Way through College to Career” – an excellent resource for high school students entering college and a great read for parents too! and “Navigate Your Way to the Career You Want.”

Check It Off! shows readers what they need to do in college to prepare themselves to seek employment and obtain a career once graduated. Check It Off! provides a checklist of activities for each year of college to prepare the student for a career and to help him or her answer the three most important questions:

  1. What do I like to do?
  2. What do I want to do?
  3. What does the world need?

This book is a quick, easy read that uniquely focuses on the activities students should pursue during college rather than after college. Check It Off! provides a proactive approach to career planning that steers the student to explore activities in preparation of a career and career direction.

Navigate Your Way to the Career You Want discusses those topics to help each person move ahead in an organization based on individual goals and pursuits.

Vera writes blogs and a quarterly newsletter on college to career issues. The blogs and newsletter discuss those tips and techniques necessary for students to succeed in college in order to obtain a job post-college.

Vera is a frequent conference speaker. She has been a speaker for Rotary Clubs and the Pasadena Community TV Channel 56 on unemployment issues. She also spoke at the Project Management Institute chapter conferences, Business Analysts conference, Los Angeles Quality Assurance conference, and Chinese American IT conference on societal factors impacting women advancing in the workplace.

Vera served on the Executive Committee as Secretary for Women At Work; a non-profit organization helping all people reach their full employment and earnings potential. Vera wrote and managed the strategic planning process for 2011 – 2014.

Vera holds a Ph.D. and MA from the Fielding Graduate University in Human and Organization Development, an MBA from California State University, Los Angeles, specializing in business information systems and has certification from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in data communications, microcomputer, and LAN support. She is PMI certified since 2000.  Currently, Vera is pursuing an online teaching certification from the University of California San Diego.

Has it been a smooth road?
It is not easy to figure out what career to pursue when you grow up.

I applied to and was accepted to a teacher’s college after high school. The reason I went to this college wasn’t because I wanted to become a teacher, but because it was a local college and very inexpensive. I was paying the tuition for college which included books and supplies.

Around my senior year, I started to realize that I would eventually graduate and find a job teaching. I was scared and anxious. By the end of my senior year, I must have applied to over 100 high schools looking for employment. I did find a wonderful teaching position in a great district in New Jersey. When I asked the chair of the department why he chose me for this teaching position, he stated that I was the only candidate that had additional experience teaching children. Little did I know that my summer jobs as a college student, as a camp counselor, would tip the scale in my direction.

I don’t believe that you can plan your career by sitting home and thinking hard. College is a journey where students should act, try new things, meet people, and have experiences.

After teaching at the university for six years, it dawned on me that many of these students don’t take advantage of the opportunities available to them at the university. That is when I wrote my book and started my company. I want to educate students on “seeing the big picture” while in college and not wait until they graduate college to pursue their career.

At the same time I wrote my book, I started a blog and newsletter on college to career topics. I’ve updated Facebook, LinkedIn, and created a website. Also, I’ve contacted high-school counselors, PTA chairs, and local communities to market my book and more importantly, my message. However, this is the struggle…getting the word out and marketing the concept.

I have a real passion to help the college student gain experiences, confidence and preparedness while in college. Also, talk to college students to take advantage of the opportunities that college provides.  Most students, like myself at that time, are unaware of all the possibilities college provides while in college.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with College to Career Coach – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Getting from College to Career is a book I wish I had while in college. The book outlines for the student, what the student should be doing each year in college to prepare for a career post-college. Also, the book provides a method to manage those activities that the student should pursue in college.

What sets me apart from others is:

  1. My personal experience as a college student pursuing a career; I can identify with the college student
  2. My two books on college to career topics
  3. My thirty years’ experience in business
  4. My teaching experience as a college lecturer
  5. My passion toward the value of the topics

Plus, I am the2019 recipient of the Catherine H. Jacobs Outstanding Faculty-Lecturer Award at California State University Dominguez Hills. I am most proud of this award because it is a combination of the recommendation of the students with whom I teach and chosen by my peers.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Our city (the LA area) offers so much for all residents. No matter your interests, the LA area provides an opportunity to meet with people to share those interests.

What I like the least about the LA area is the traffic and road conditions. I live in North LA and work in South LA. I leave the house at 4:45 a.m. for a peaceful commute to work. I leave work after 7 p.m. to avoid a 2-hour drive home.

To end on a positive note, I’m very lucky to continue to work in a field I love.  I enjoy working with the students at Dominguez Hills as most are first of their family to receive a college education.  Their passion for a better life motivates me to do my best as a professor. While most people count the years/days to retirement, I come to work each day appreciative of the opportunity to help these students with their relationships, financial issues, life’s obstacles, and of course, career choices.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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