Lucy Snell, an employer relations assistant in George Mason University’s Career Services, says her supervisor, Christie Michals, is the reason she feels so at home at the university.
“She has quickly become one of the most influential mentors that I have encountered in my academic career,” said Snell, who is also a master’s student in anthropology at Mason. “The reason I have made advancements in my career is Christie helping me network.”
Michals, an employer relations coordinator, has been with Mason for almost two years. Her hard work, positivity, and willingness to work collaboratively are just some of the reasons she is Mason’s May Employee of the Month.
“I was shocked,” she said of receiving the award. “This news helped rejuvenate my drive to keep working hard and to stay connected, even in the midst of our current circumstances.”
Michals interacts with employers on Handshake, Mason’s primary job search and appointment resource. She ensures employers prioritize the students’ best interests. To better help students get the most out of the platform, Michals attended a Handshake conference in Hartford, Connecticut.
Recently, her role shifted to include an even higher volume of calls from employers, something that requires several hours of every workday.
In 2019, Michals coordinated the creation of a virtual resume clinic for students unable to attend in person because of the Rosh Hashanah holiday. This was the first Career Services signature event to go virtual.
“In her first position out of college, Christie has excelled in this role, setting and achieving milestones that surpass her job description,” said Victoria Suárez, assistant director of employer development in University Career Services.
“Each day I want to be better than I was yesterday, and to always give my full effort,” Michals said. “As people, if we each realize that our actions have an impact on others, then I believe we all can do our part to make the world a better place.”
How she got here:
I completed my bachelor’s and played four years of collegiate basketball at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. I completed my master’s in business administration at East Tennessee State University. For post-graduate plans, I wanted to move back to Northern Virginia, where I grew up and where most of my family still lives. Working in higher education was a path that excited me for its values of growth, school camaraderie, and helping others.
Best day on the job:
When I think of my best days at Mason, I think of the people I have the privilege to work with. I work with amazing people who are caring and compassionate. Those relationships add value to my life and help me understand that my work has meaning.
What she likes best about working at Mason:
Not only does Mason support the development of students, but it also provides opportunities for employees to focus on our own personal and professional development.
What she does when not working:
I enjoy being active and playing basketball. I am driven by the challenge and sense of accomplishment that comes from physical exercise.