Beau Menchaca, M.A. counseling ’02, a counselor for the Santa Ana Unified School District, was recently recognized with the Santa Ana Unified School District’s 2013 Support Staff of the Year award. He has a passion for working in education and serves as the Higher Education Coordinator at Century High School in Santa Ana, Calif. Read on to learn more about Beau’s career and the insight he offers to current students and fellow alumni.
Tell me about your career? What do you do on a day to day basis?
Empowerment of students is of vital concern to me. If a student takes ownership of his or her choices, the student is more likely to complete assignments and be more receptive to changes in his or her life. So I approach the daily academic and personal social counseling of students with this goal in mind. I meet with parents, teachers, administrators and my counseling colleagues and review grade reports and transcripts. I just finished 13 years of counseling at Century High School. This upcoming year, I will be our school’s Higher Education Coordinator. My job will be to help all students with their post-secondary opportunities.
What insight would you give to current students and alumni who are searching for employment?
Do your homework about the organization that you are applying to. Be sure that your resume and cover letter incorporate the needs required by the organization. Be sure you are well versed for the interview. Take a small portfolio of projects that correspond with the job description.
What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their time at Chapman?
Attend every class session. The class sessions were invaluable. Take advantage of the resources that are available on campus. For example, the writing center, the library and the computer labs.
From your time at Chapman, which faculty member(s) made the greatest impact on you and why?
Chapman and the education department made me feel like an important part of the school since day one. I never felt like I was just a number. When I had a work related issue, any one of them was supportive and offered excellent advice.
How has your Chapman degree helped you in your professional and personal life?
My Chapman degree prepared me to compete successfully in a very competitive field and I felt that my comprehensive educational experience gave me an extra edge.
What is your favorite Chapman memory?
My wife is also a Chapman graduate even though we did not attend at the same time. It was a thrilling experience we both share as Chapman graduates. On occasion, we take our elementary age level daughter to visit the campus so she can see where mom and dad went to school.
What was your favorite spot on campus as a student?
I could always find a quiet corner and sit on a bench and reflect before class.
Have you been involved with Chapman since graduating?
I have had several counseling interns over the years. I also consider myself a Chapman “ambassador” at large at my school and at District meetings, because I am always promoting our program to our students. I would also like to expand Century’s relationship with Chapman U, because I would like to find an intern in creative writing as well as one in public relations to help us build a stronger college going culture within our community.
Anything else you’d to share with the Chapman Family?
I would like to share some inspirational quotes; “Let no one stop you from reaching your goals. If you have a dream, you can make it happen.” -Patricia Bain Machado, Ed.D. and “Find a job that you love and you will never work a day in your life.” -Confucius
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Beau Menchaca (M.A. ’02): Now and Then