GCC Alumna Gives Back to Students


Nare Garibyan studied at Glendale College, but today, the former student gives back to the campus so others can benefit. Garibyan, 32, is an adjunct academic counselor at GCC. She started working at GCC in September 2012.

“I chose to be an academic counselor because I enjoy helping people, especially students who are pursuing a variety of goals and career options,” she said.

Guiding students in the right direction is one of the first steps in helping them to discover their career path. “The first step is to honestly talk with the student and find out what their interests are …” she said. Another helpful option would be to attend an undecided college workshop or get support from GCC’s career-assessment center, she added.

Garibyan also provides assistance if a student is trying to go to the college of their dreams. “I write recommendation letters and support them when a personal question arises,” she said.

Garibyan, who worked for the Los Angeles County of Public Social Services from 2007 to 2010, has had challenges as a counselor at GCC.

“I think one of the biggest hurdles for a counselor is to help each student within the time constraints, a conversation needs to end because another person is waiting,” she said.

The hardest aspect, she said is being an adjunct. “As an adjunct I can only do so much in the allotted time I can work,” she said.

Garibyan said students make some common mistakes that impact their educational goals.

“They take too many units and unnecessary classes that might affect their academic performance,” she said.

“Students don’t reach out for support services they need such as tutoring and assistance with possible learning disabilities,” Garibyan added.

Despite challenges, Garibyan loves what she does for a living and enjoys helping students at GCC.

“I love it when the students have an epiphany in regards to what they want to pursue or accomplish after we have talked,” she said.

In her spare time away from GCC, Garibyan stays busy and likes to have fun and relax.

“I love to read, write poetry and practice Iyengar yoga,” she said.

Her best advice for prospective students at GCC: “I would advise future students to work hard. Find time for fun, and don’t be afraid to explore all their options,” she said, “and allow themselves to dream big and be willing to change course when something is not working well.”