At the CLDC, we have an engaging and dynamic cast of characters working tirelessly to serve and promote Ohio University students. This summer, we’re providing a window into the careers and lives of the career coaches you work with each day.

What is your role and what are your responsibilities at the CLDC?

Assistant Director for Employer Relations and Marketing

  • Coach students in development of career and leadership skills
  • Oversee three major career fairs each year
  • Plan and implement marketing of CLDC events, services, and programming
  • Develop and manage relationships with employers and encourage recruitment of Ohio University students
  • Supervise one graduate student and two undergraduate students who make up the CLDC marketing team

What is your favorite leadership role currently and why?

I love supervising my student team! They are enthusiastic, eager to learn, and incredibly hardworking.  Mentoring young professionals has been a passion of mine for years. It’s why I became a counselor and sought opportunities in career development.

What is it like to work at the CLDC?Erika Peyton

The CLDC staff is energetic, light-hearted, and has incredible drive. CLDC is student-centered and action-oriented. We make decisions with the best interest of students in mind. We push students to take action in their own careers and leadership by providing opportunities that promote development, such as career and leadership coaching, mock interviewing, leadership workshops, career classes, and opportunities to connect with employers on campus. Working in a department with these values and exceptional colleagues is invigorating, and to top it off, I laugh and have fun every day!

What has surprised you most about your career thus far?

I love developing a clear path toward long term goals by progressively accomplishing action steps, but my career has NOT followed a clear route in the slightest! During the first eight years of my career, I transitioned five times into vastly different industries. This process took me from Los Angeles to Mongolia to Chicago to Colorado and, most recently, to Athens, Ohio. The most surprising aspect of all this, is how my career has influenced my personal growth. Learning to leap at opportunities – even the unexpected ones – has made me a very different person at 30 than I ever would have imagined at 22.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve experienced in your career thus far?

The many career transitions! Evaluating my experience and finding a way to market myself for new roles and industries has been both a challenge and fascination.

What was your first job ever?

Stapling shipping boxes at my dad’s tile manufacturing distribution center.

What was your best career or leadership experience during college?

Though it was not directly related to any of the careers I pursued, the experience I gained the most from was working at a hectic bar and grill in Buena Vista, Colorado. In the three summers I spent in this role, my professionalism grew exponentially as I learned to work efficiently and diligently, to navigate numerous personalities, and to take myself less seriously.

How did you find your first job after undergrad?

During my last semester of undergrad, my school brought in a series of professionals from the media industry – from directors to writers to producers.  While every speaker taught me a lot, one stood out. I approached her after the presentation and expressed an interest in interning for her company. Within a couple weeks I was hired to intern with the TV development department. This role eventually led to a full time position coordinating the company’s internship program. Biggest takeaway: JUST ASK! A no isn’t going to kill you, and a yes can change your life.

What are you involved in outside of work?

I’m a creative at heart, so much of my free time is spent writing, researching for my writing, and writing some more. Aside from that, I exercise and socialize!

What is your favorite place in Athens?

Donkey Coffee hosts me and my writing endeavors EVERY weekend. I’m getting way too comfortable there!

Attending Nadaam, a Mongolian summer festival, while serving in Peace Corps
Attending Nadaam, a Mongolian summer festival, while serving in Peace Corps

What is the best place you’ve ever traveled? Why?

I think I’m still trying to find that place. In all honesty, travel doesn’t do it for me as much as moving and building a life in a new place.

Share something about yourself that might surprise people.

I can’t get enough of science fiction and fantasy! Also, I’ve definitely hung out at George Clooney’s house, but that’s a longer story…

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