Counseling and career development grad shows resilience on the path to earn her degree

Angela Bautista smiling in profile.

Angela Bautista hopes to inspire students as a full-time school counselor. Bautista is a first-generation student graduating with a Master of Arts in the Counseling and Career Development Program from the Colorado State University School of Education. Bautista, who grew up in Santa Paula, in Southern California, lived in a home with addiction and uncertainty, which she overcame. Bautista chose to attend Colorado State University to complete her master’s degree after she interviewed with faculty in the program.

“I felt an instant connection when I interviewed with the Counseling and Career Development Program,” Bautista said. “I can’t exactly explain it, I just knew this was the program I wanted to be a part of.”

Working at the CSU Career Center

Before Bautista moved to Colorado, she was offered a job as a career industry intern at the CSU Career Center. She helped with events put on by the office and worked with the Ram Career Insider Blog and helped with different events that were hosted on campus such as Career Fair, Diversity Connect, Just In Time Fair, and Teacher Job Fair, to name just a few. After working as an intern for a year, Bautista applied for a career specialist position. She helped students write resumes and cover letters, practice interview skills, and find jobs or internships.

Bautista also worked with the Access Center, specifically with the TRIO Programs with Educational Talent Search and the LIFE program. The purpose of the TRIO Programs, which are funded through the U.S. Department of Education, is to assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and people with disabilities as they progress through school and college programs.

“I built relationships, community, and engaged in learning activities with middle and high school students around career and college readiness by talking about college admissions, transitions, goal-setting, and financial aid,” Bautista said.

Learning self-awareness

After completing her first year of graduate school, Bautista realized she had taken on an overwhelming amount of work. She switched from being a full-time student to a part-time student to help balance her school, internship, and job.

Angela Bautista smiling in front of the CSU education building
Angela Bautista in front of the CSU Education Building.

“I recognized that I spread myself too thin and had a difficult time meeting and completing demands,” Bautista said. “In response to my stress, I shut down and did not perform my best.”

As a first-generation student, Bautista struggled to find a happy medium trying to balance school and work.

“I have to work so that I can support myself and be a student so that I can have a career and create a better future for myself,” Bautista said.

Bautista’s academic experience in the Counseling and Career Development Program in her first year helped her come to this realization. She credits her adviser, Associate Professor Laurie Carlson, with supporting her during her challenges.

“The majority of my assignments in the first year had to do with self-reflection and applying what I learned to my life experiences,” Bautista said. “Developing self-awareness taught me that I needed to advocate for myself by decreasing my load because I had bitten off more than I could chew. Once I came to this realization, I met with my faculty adviser, Dr. Carlson, and spoke about my challenges and struggles. The professors helped me overcome this obstacle by being supportive, empathetic, and holding me accountable to live up to my potential.”

“Angela has shown resilience on her journey to this accomplishment of completing her degree,” said Carlson.

After graduation

After December graduation, Bautista will continue working as an educational counselor at Compassion Road Academy in Denver. Once the academic school year is over, Bautista plans to search for a full-time school counselor position.

“What I will miss most about CSU are the faculty, staff, and colleagues I had the privilege of working alongside and getting to know on a personal level,” she said. “They each positively impacted my personal and professional growth, and for that, I am so grateful.”

The School of Education is a part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.

Read about more of the outstanding graduates in the College of Health and Human Sciences.