Beth Kirker, Director of Career Services, Goldey-Beacom College
What Inspires Me?
My role at Goldey-Beacom College as the Director of Career Services offers me a front row seat to young adults and alumni along their career journey. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences and, as we all do, have their own personal challenges. I have a quote hanging in my office: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.” The students and alumni see it. I see it. And it has served as the perfect reminder that nothing will be easy or perfect—not our lives or our paths to reach our goals. But it is about how we navigate what comes at us and how we persevere. The students and graduates I have the privilege of working with teach me that every day. I consider it such an honor to get to guide them on their career journeys, support them as they face new challenges, and celebrate them as they reach new heights. My favorite moments are when I hear from students a few years after graduation. They share how much they have grown in their lives and careers, what opportunities have opened for them, as well as their eagerness to give back to current students. It is stories like these that inspire me every day.
I am passionate about making connections in the community that benefit the students and the College. Being a life-long Delawarean, it is fairly easy to tap into my network to create partnerships. One partnership that has been extremely rewarding to me is with the AVID students at Skyline Middle School. I was fortunate to be asked to take the lead on identifying how GBC could support the Skyline students. What started as weekly tutoring and mentoring with a team of students, faculty, and staff evolved into a relationship between Skyline Middle School and Goldey-Beacom College that far exceeded my expectations. The AVID students spent a day in the life at GBC, sang, and served as flag carriers at our 2022 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony. Skyline leadership incorporated GBC attire as part of the school uniform for the 2022-23 academic year. There are no words to express how we feel when we enter Skyline classrooms weekly and are greeted with smiles, hugs, and students sporting GBC gear. A day of service for the GBC Community was held at Skyline Middle School. We worked side-by-side with students painting kindness rocks, weaving blankets of Plarn, and filling Halloween treat bags for patients at Nemours. GBC baseball players and staff raced the Skyline students through an inflatable moon bounce, played games, and danced in the parking lot. This ongoing relationship has been mutually beneficial for both schools. GBC and Skyline Middle School, we truly are “Better Together”!
What makes a great leader?
When I think of great leaders who have impacted me, the first thing that comes to mind is authentic. They not only have a voice that is heard but they are genuine listeners. They are individuals who have empowered me to take the lead, and supported my recommendations and decisions including those that may appear non-conventional. They have taught me how to have the hard conversations in a respectful and meaningful way. When faced with challenging and new situations, I reflect on what I have learned from these amazing leaders. I have incorporated these admirable skills to my professional and personal life in hopes that I too can inspire future leaders.
Beth Kirker joined Goldey-Beacom College in 2012 in Career Services and now holds the position of Director. A life-long Delawarean, she is a graduate of the University of Delaware and joined Goldey-Beacom College after working in several financial services firms. Beth currently oversees the Career Services Office working with both students and alumni to develop professionally and attain their career- related goals. In addition, she is a member of several collegewide committees including the Strategic Planning Committee, Student Success and Retention committee, and co-chairs both the Commencement Committee and Career Services and Business Advisory Board. Beth serves as the College’s liaison with the Skyline Middle School AVID program organizing students, faculty, and staff to mentor and tutor Skyline students while helping educate them on preparing for college and future careers. Beth is a mentor for the Fresh Start Scholarship Program, a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers and Delaware ACE Women’s Network.