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Jessica Malcheff ’04 returned to Hillsdale as the new assistant director of Career Ser­vices this semester. Jessica Malcheff | Courtesy

Hillsdale College’s Career Ser­vices hired Jessica Malcheff ’04 as the new assistant director on Feb. 4, 2019 after Sophia Donohoe left the position.

As assistant director, Malcheff said she will be leading the Career Cur­riculum team within the Student Mentor Affair team.  

“The team goal is to connect with campus clubs, hon­o­raries, orga­ni­za­tions, Greek Life, and dorms to promote Career Service resources in order to actively engage stu­dents in finding value in their per­sonal career devel­opment,” Malcheff said. “This team also works hard to include resources for stu­dents inter­ested in graduate school.”

Director of Career Ser­vices Joanna Wiseley said Malcheff will be an asset to the team.

“She is very high energy,” Wisely said. “I’m glad she’s here.”

Wiseley added that Malcheff is invested in helping stu­dents.

“She’s just a kind, friendly, and easy to-get-to know person, which is important when you’re doing one-on-one career coaching,” she said.

Malcheff said when she came for the interview and met everyone in Career Ser­vices, she was excited for the oppor­tunity to work with the team.

“Ken Koopman, our exec­utive director, is such a visionary,” Malcheff said. “He’s brought a solid vision to the office but also does a great job of com­mu­ni­cating that vision exter­nally, so that we’re seeing more stu­dents, and we’re offering more resources for our stu­dents.”

Wiseley said Malcheff comes to Career Ser­vices with plenty of event planning and fundraising expe­rience.

“She brings a lot of pro­fes­sion­alism to the position,” Wiseley said. “She’s worked outside of Hillsdale College and just not in Career Ser­vices.”  

Addi­tionally, Wiseley said she is excited for Malcheff to offer a fresh per­spective within Career Ser­vices.

“It’s easy to get in the habit of doing things the same way,” Wiseley. “But she’s new, so she’ll ask, ‘Well, have you ever thought about doing it this way?’”

Prior to this position, Malcheff lived in Dav­enport, Iowa with her husband and two children for 12 years. While in Iowa, she worked as the annual fund coor­di­nator in the advancement office at Palmer College of Chi­ro­practic.

“I loved working with the stu­dents and being a part of doing some­thing that I thought was really valuable for that school in terms of raising funds for them to con­tinue their efforts,” Malcheff said. “I fell in love with phil­an­thropy and fundraising in that pro­fession.”

Malcheff left this position and worked as the exec­utive director of Vera French Com­munity Mental Health Center where she learned how mental ill­nesses impact fam­ilies in the com­munity.

“I loved doing work for that orga­ni­zation in that com­munity,” Malcheff said. “We enhanced awareness of mental illness and how we’re all part of solving that equation.”

After her husband received a job offer in Michigan, Malcheff said she and her family decided it was time for them to move, so they could be closer to both of their fam­ilies.

“We had such great friends and a great church com­munity in Iowa,” Malcheff said. “We both had jobs that we really loved. But the one thing we didn’t have there was family.”

When a position opened up with Hillsdale’s Career Ser­vices, Malcheff said she was excited for the oppor­tunity to work directly with stu­dents.

“The sim­i­larity to my former pro­fession is rela­tionship building with my stu­dents, and I love that,” Malcheff said. “I loved the energy and vibe you get from working with stu­dents directly.”

Malcheff said she hopes to be a strong mentor for stu­dents.

“I’ve had 15 years of outside employment expe­rience from Hillsdale,” Malcheff said. “I hope to bring every­thing I’ve learned and share that to help stu­dents in those sit­u­a­tions.”

Addi­tionally, Malcheff said she hopes to create events to reach younger stu­dents earlier.

“I really want to focus on a series where there’s talks, panels, or alumni net­working events that we offer to our freshmen,” Malcheff said. “Then they can really see the value of coming into Career Ser­vices earlier and often.”

Malcheff grad­uated from Hillsdale with a major in speech. Rhetoric and Public Address Department Chair­woman Kirstin Kiledal said Malcheff’s back­ground in speech pre­pared her for this position.

“She’s com­fortable speaking to small and large groups of people,” Kiledal siad. “Her orga­ni­zation and energy will be very well met in Career Ser­vices.”

Kiledal said Malcheff was a joy to have as a student.

“She was curious, ques­tioning, and very aware of her potential and her lim­i­ta­tions,” Kiledal said. “She’s just warm, per­sonable, and caring. Those are all things we rec­ognize about our com­munity at Hillsdale in stu­dents, faculty, and staff.”

Kiledal said she cheered when she found out Malcheff received the job in Career Ser­vices.

“Here we have another person who’s got ties to the college but also these very strong ties to the larger com­munity,” Kiledal said. “Jessica doesn’t have to break into the com­munity; she is part of the com­munity.”