General Counselor, Full-Time
BA Psychology, CSUN
MS Counseling, CSUN
PPS Credential, CSUN
Akadina Amrekhasadeh Portrait

As a kid, I always changed my mind about what I wanted to be “when I grow up.” Most days I’d say that I wanted to be a teacher or a police officer. On other days, depending on my general mood, I’d want to be some sort of a combination between spy, cashier, artist, Spider-Man, photographer, and/or a member of the team who worked on giving cars make-overs on the show, “Pimp My Ride.” As you may have guessed, I didn’t make it on Pimp My Ride, but I did get the best job in the world- and that is to be an Oxnard College counselor where I get to remind the most resilient, talented, and kind-hearted student population I know (YOU), that they have the utmost potential to reach their educational and career goals. It’s funny how life works out. If I was asked 10 years ago where I would be today, “counselor” would not have even been on the top 20 guesses on my list. I immigrated to the U.S. when I was nine years old and am a first-generation college student. The whole higher education gig was not at all a road that anyone close to me had walked before. I attended CSUN to pursue a BA Psychology straight out of high school, mostly because I didn’t know about any other colleges or universities. I just applied because everyone else was, and got in.  Looking back, I wish I had attended a community college where I would have had the chance to explore other university options. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate CSUN; it would have just been nice to know that there are other options. For example, given the chance to do it all over again, I think I would have also applied to UCLA, UC Riverside, Grambling State University, CSU Chico, CSU Channel Islands, and Cal Poly Humboldt. I kept my head down for most of college while working part-time at Baskin Robbins to pay for my expenses. Luckily, I received financial aid and that was my saving grace- without it, I could have never afforded to go to college. It wasn’t until my last year in undergrad that I was exposed to the idea of becoming a college counselor. I knew I loved psychology but I hadn’t connected it with a career. I knew I didn’t want to become a therapist. I knew it would be too emotionally heavy for me. I also knew I didn’t want to go into the corporate world as an industrial organizational psychologist because that felt like it would be too far removed from helping individual people. After seeing what counselors do on a daily basis, I knew it was my dream job all along; it was the perfect dynamic. I clung to my mentors who were counselors in the community college system. They helped me find my way.

Your time in college is to explore different subjects and careers. You don’t have to know it all or have it all figured out when you start. Even if you come with your mind made up, this is the time to test your current beliefs and get your hands on some practical experience to explore your potential career first-hand. You will either love it more and commit or decide to pursue something different. Bottom line is, MAKE SURE TO TAP INTO YOUR RESOURCES to get the most out of your time while you are here. Oxnard College is here for you. I am here for you. I am rooting for you. Come see me during a counseling appointment, even if you’re not quite sure you have the right questions. We’ll figure it out as we go along.