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Jennifer Severini-Kresock of NEPA Career and College Counseling Associates.

A little over a year ago, Jennifer Severini-Kresock decided to follow her passion and use her 20 years of guidance counseling experience to become a business owner.

She founded NEPA Career and College Counseling Associates. Her business provides education and assistance relating to job and college applications and essays, career counseling and success.

I had a chance to sit down with Jennifer to find out more about her business and how she has been able to help her clients.

Scranton Chamber: What made you want to be a college counselor?

Jennifer Severini-Kresock: For my entire life, I have been interested in education. I was a guidance counselor for 20 years. With an abundance of students, I never felt as though I was able to provide an adequate amount of time to help my students make choices about their higher education plans or career goals. I wanted to be able to focus on that and that’s when I started my business.

SC: What is the most rewarding part about being a college counselor?

JSK: I enjoy working with the students and their parents. It’s satisfying when dreams are fulfilled, such as students finding the schools they were looking for, receiving scholarship money and eventually finding a career that they love. It’s rewarding when you hear back from past clients and they tell you their success stories.

SC: How do you stay updated on the college recruitment process?

JSK: The world is so fast paced and changing and it can be difficult to keep up sometimes. I am constantly attending professional development seminars and events to make sure I have the most up-to-date information for my clients. I’ve also been able to make connections with individuals at colleges and universities too. It’s extremely important that I’m knowledgeable in regards to what resources are available to my clients.

SC: What is the process you use in preparing one of your clients?

JSK: I work with students on all different levels, so the process starts differently for everyone. I currently have a client that is in eighth grade that I arranged a career shadowing experience for. I often get clients who are juniors and have a better idea of what they want to do, so we jump right into the college process with applications, essays, putting together a resume, and planning college visits. I also have adult clients who bring their resumes and cover letters to me for career counseling, and students who are already in college but have come back to ask for advice about scholarships.

SC: In what ways does your business help the community?

JSK: I offer free presentations throughout the area. So far for this spring, I have 16 presentations scheduled. I also have a Facebook page and Twitter page (@NEPACareerandCo) with more information about my presentations. I want to use my knowledge to benefit the community.

SC: How has the Chamber helped your business?

JSK: I have been able to network with Chamber members at events and have received referrals too. The Chamber staff has been helpful with providing information on how I can continue to grow my business.

— by Amanda E. Marchegiani, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce