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.”