Meet the Staff

Alex Hochman

Alex Hochman

Senior Director

Pronouns: he/him/his

ahochman@usfca.edu

University of Michigan
BA Communication
John F. Kennedy University
MA Career Development

Favorite Places in the City

Roxie Food Center in the Mission Terrace neighborhood (best sandwich in town!), AT&T Park

Hobbies and Interests

Overly obsessive fan of University of Michigan football and basketball and the San Francisco Giants. Part-time restaurant critic. Traveling near and far with my wife and two daughters.

First internship/job

In high school, I worked at Lombardi’s Sports which was then on Clement Street. I sold sneakers and learned how to deal with a truly diverse group of customers. I once sold Robin Williams a pair of Nikes!

Best piece of career advice I received

“Just because you’re good at doing something doesn’t mean that you like to do it."

Ellen

Ellen Kelly

Director of Career Success

Pronouns: she/her/hers

kellye@usfca.edu

University of Missouri - Columbia
BA in Business Administration
Major: Logistics, Minor: Marketing
San Francisco State University
MS Counseling, Emphasis in College and Career Counseling
Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University
MA Theological Studies, Concentration: Christian Spirituality

Favorite Places in the City

Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, Twin Peaks, Crissy Field, AT&T Park, anywhere I'm with friends

Hobbies and Interests

Baseball, Reading, KC BBQ, Family, Symphony, Living life by my motto: Carpe Diem

First internship/job

My first internship was at Deluxe Check Printers (yes people used to write a lot of checks!) as a logistics intern. I was offered a management trainee position and worked there for 3 years before deciding I didn't want to focus on shipping checks all over the country for my career.

Best piece of career advice I received

As cliche as it sounds, when I experienced my first career crossroads at 24, someone told me to read "What Color is Your Parachute." Not only did I read it, but I did every darn exercise in the book, conducted a plethora of informational interviews, and finally had the courage to quit my job, travel to Europe for 4+ months, and then apply for and go to the Peace Corps. That road less traveled has made all the difference.

Julia Hing

Julia Hing

Director of Employer Relationships

Pronouns: she/her/hers

jahing@usfca.edu

University of Michigan
BBA with an Emphasis in Marketing
University of San Francisco
MS in Project Management

Favorite Places in the City

Walking through the Ferry Building, grabbing a lunch at one of the food stands, and sitting on a bench by the water.

Hobbies and Interests

I enjoy cooking and love to learn new, easy recipes and pairing appropriate wines. I got into tennis about 10 years ago and play actively on various tennis leagues.

First internship/job

My family owned a small business, a Chinese take-out, and I learned food preparation and customer service techniques there.

Best piece of career advice I received

Early in my career, I was laid off from a company, and my manager suggested that I use the time to look into jobs I felt more suitable for. After a couple of months, I got my first job in marketing/merchandising for an entertainment retailer. It was definitely a better fit.

STEPHANIE BELFIORE

Stephanie Belfiore

Assistant Director of Employer Relationships

Pronouns: she/her/hers

sibelfiore@usfca.edu

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
BS Retail and Consumer Sciences
University of San Francisco 
MA Organization & Leadership 

Favorite Places in the City

Crissy Field for running or hanging out at the beach, hiking Lands End, walking the hidden trails of Golden Gate Park, exploring the Ferry Building farmer's market, killing time in Green Apple Books.  

Hobbies and Interests

Running with my dog, hiking, kayaking, and spending time at the beach. I also enjoy gardening, crafting, reading, and traveling to new places with my family.

First internship/job

As soon as I was old enough for a work permit, I got a job at Wendy's.  After three months of seeing the inner workings of a fast food chain, I decided it was not where I wanted to be. I promptly resigned and got a job working the sales floor at a clothing store which I enjoyed much more!

Best piece of career advice I received

Opportunity often comes when you least expect it and may present itself in unexpected ways.  Be ready to jump at it when it comes your way!

Juli-Anne Brockway

Juli-Anne Brockway

Career Counselor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

jbrockway@usfca.edu

Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY
AA Liberal Arts
Baruch College/CUNY
BA Psychology
Teachers College, Columbia University
MA Higher & Postsecondary Education

Favorite Places in the City

Golden Gate Park

Hobbies and Interests

Hiking, amateur photography, road trips, visiting national parks

First internship/job

Working as a cashier at the Hampton Classic in the summer while in high school.

Best piece of career advice I received

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door."

Kristen photo

Kristen Dittus

Career Counselor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

kmdittus@usfca.edu

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
BA in Political Science, Bachelor of Theatre Arts
MA in Higher Education, concentration in Student Access and Success

Favorite Places in the City

Dolores Park, Lands End, the Mission

Hobbies and Interests

Travelling, running, trying new restaurants, watching sports-especially Michigan Wolverines football

First internship/job

For my first job I worked at my local movie theater over the summer.  I didn't find the work enjoyable, and disliked how I always smelled like popcorn. I decided to take a class and get certified to lifeguard instead, which I loved. This was my first hands-on experience with learning how much education can truly change your job prospects!  

Best piece of career advice I received

Find the intersection of what you love, what you’re good at, and what someone will pay you to do.  This is where you’ll find a fulfilling career.

Yesame Kinfe

Yesame Kinfe

Career Counselor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

ykinfe1@usfca.edu

University of California, Berkeley
BA, Media Studies

San Francisco State University
MS, Counseling

Favorite Places in the City

The Conservatory of Flowers and Ocean Beach.

Hobbies and Interests

Traveling, reading, and cooking/baking.

First internship/job

My first internship was in college as a marketing and editorial intern at a book publishing office where I did market research and created press releases for new books. This internship made me realize I’d rather have a career in helping others and I pivoted to working with students. 

Best piece of career advice I received

If you’re in between work and having a tough time getting a job, volunteer! Always be open to opportunities. You can learn a lot about yourself and see what kinds of careers are out there when you try different things. 

Corey Kowalczyke

Program Assistant

Pronouns: he/him/his

ckowalczyke@dons.usfca.edu   

University of San Francisco
BA, International Studies 

Favorite Places in the City

24th Street Mission District, Russian/Nob Hill (where you can see the water, and the Bay Bridge!), Outer Richmond Clement Street, Any grassy area with dogs! 

Hobbies and Interests

Finding new places to eat and hang with friends! Music, reading, and exploring the Bay Area with my dog, Nacho

First internship/job

My first real job was working at a Starbucks in the Fillmore District of San Francisco. The 4:30 am shifts were brutal, but I was always caffeinated. 

Best piece of career advice I received

If you do not sustain yourself, in taking care of your whole self (emotional, physical, spiritual), then you cannot sustain the work you do. If we wish to be present in our work, we must take care of ourselves and listen to our heart, mind, and body. 

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Lydia Erickson

Graduate Career Counseling Intern

Pronouns: she/her/hers

lerickson@usfca.edu

Boston University
BA, English 

San Francisco State University 

MS, Counseling

Favorite Places in the City

The Japanese Tea Garden, the zoo

Hobbies and Interests

Writing and reading science fiction and fantasy, traveling, doing yoga, learning romance languages, spending time with my Australian shepherd. 

First internship/job

I got my first job when I was in high school, working at the same preschool that I had gone to when I was a little girl.  Once, when one of the toddlers was throwing a tantrum--rolling on the ground, beating his fists, the whole nine yards--the owner of the preschool, a good family friend, patted my shoulder, sighed wistfully, and said, “Oh, Lydia. He’s just like you used to be.” 

Best piece of career advice I received

 Looking back, I wish I had read Designing Your Life earlier--ideally back in college, when I was still stuck between a future in education, law, or psychology. In the book, Burnett and Evans normalize career experimentation and propose the idea of multiple potential good futures. In my experience, perfectionism and career FOMO can feel paralyzing--but it’s important to remember that career exploration can be fun, too. You don’t have to have everything figured out right away or to get everything right on the first try. Many different choices could lead to great futures, and sometimes all it takes to find your way forward is to try new things and move toward the ones that you like.  

 

Meet the Career Planning Peers!

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Giselle            Cami            Ben            Susan

Giselle Valadez      *    Camilla Dehoyos    *    Benjamin Shur    *      Susan Nguyen