Members of Pierce College at JBLM can now look forward to having the new Student Success Coach, Joseph “Joey” Torres, on campus.
Torres recently joined the JBLM Student Success team on April 16. He worked in higher education previously at his alma mater, University of California, Irvine, as an academic advisor.
“Even though i’ve had previous experience in working in higher education, just recently I made the decision to change my own career to fit what I wanted to do career-wise with this job at JBLM,” said Torres.
After having his job at UC, Irvine, Torres ventured outside of the higher education system and worked in various fields, including Human Resources and Recruiting.
Torres eventually decided to make his return to working in higher education with his job at JBLM. He explained how he wanted to take on more of a helping role with his next job. After weighing out his options, he decided to go with an occupation he already was familiar with.
“I wanted to return to a position where I could be of service to students and be in a counseling role, and this was really one of the best ways for me to do it,” said Torres.
As a Student Success Coach, also known as an academic adviser, Torres’ job is to partner with students to achieve their educational or career goals.
“We help with anything from the students’ basic needs, to mental health, to transferring and more,” said Torres.
He’s still currently in training for the position and said he expects to start meeting with students within the next couple of weeks.
So far, training has consisted of Torres learning from colleagues what they do specifically on a day-to-day basis and obtaining all the information he needs to know. The information includes different career pathways, general information from all the catalogs and different resources students have available to them.
All his training has been done online through Zoom, Canvas and email since all Pierce College campuses are closed.
Torres explained how his experience starting a new job in the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak has required lots of flexibility from the start. He still hasn’t met his supervisor or any of his advising and student services colleagues in person.
“It’s definitely been unique, but it’s still been good and has forced me to lean into technology more with Zoom and Skype and other office resources I would use,” said Torres.
Once he starts meeting with students, Torres explained he’s excited to learn about a new culture from working with them since he doesn’t have a military background himself.
“I know that the Pierce College students associated with the military already have a strong sense of purpose,” he said. “I hope that my job will help them further deepen their sense of purpose or their career goals, or maybe find a new purpose through their education.”
Torres believed his decade of experience with fields outside higher education has helped give him a different perspective now coming back. He explained that he’s hoping those past experiences will make him an even better resource to students.
Outside of his job, Torres loves to run and take care of his cat, Mio. He even ran a small cat sitting business when he moved to the Seattle area in 2007.
Torres wants all students to know that the Student Success Team is still available to partner with them in achieving their educational and career goals.
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