As the senior academic advisor for the University of New Mexico (UNM) College Advising Center, Brian Baldonado enjoys helping students map their futures. It is important work, and he and his colleagues at the center are required to earn CCE’s Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) credential to provide them with the training and tools necessary to set students up for success.
The GCDF is CCE’s flagship credential and is the first and most notable national credential in the field of career development. Since its inception, more than 30,000 people have been credentialed in 23 countries
Baldonado is also pursuing his master’s degree in the university’s counseling program, and he recently spoke to us about earning the GCDF.
Tell us a little about your work as senior academic advisor at UNM.
I advise undecided and pre-health students, and a big part of the GCDF is helping students and giving them the tools to find the career path that they want to pursue. I kind of work backward; instead of helping the student decide on a major, I help them to find a career path first, and then we work back to what kind of major would be best to get them there.
What made you decide to obtain the GCDF?
My supervisor required and therefore graciously made it possible for us to obtain the GCDF, but I think that I would have been even interested in doing so anyway, just because I’m in the counseling program at UNM. It’s my last year in the counseling program here, and the GCDF has played a large role in getting me into that clinical mindset.
How has earning the GCDF helped you along your career path?
The thing about counseling is that everything is intertwined, whether that be trauma or addiction or a career. Soon I’m going to be starting a new role as an addictions therapist, facilitating group therapy, intensive outpatient programming (IOP), and individual therapy. A big part of getting back into recovery for individuals is asking “What am I going to do with my life, and where can my passion come into play?” I think that the GCDF training has really helped me to realize that.
What are your plans after you've earned your master’s degree?
I plan to become a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC), and that’s kind of what I’m working toward. I mainly want to work with young adults and adolescents in trauma and addiction, basically anything they come in with. And again, career is also a big part of that age, and discovering what area you want to go into and what you want to do.
What would you say to someone who is considering earning the GCDF?
I’d say go for it. Whether they’re interested in counseling or just helping people in general, it will help them to get into that mindset.
Are you interested in earning the GCDF credential? To be eligible, candidates must commit to abide by the GCDF Code of Ethics, complete a required amount of supervised career development experience commensurate with their level of education, and complete 120 hours or more of comprehensive training from one of CCE’s Registered Credential Training Providers.
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