January 10, 2012
In a way, Deb Hunt is like a matchmaker. Sometimes she is trying to find employers that will be the right match for a Wentworth student’s co-op position. Other times she is helping women form networks to return to work. She listens to people, gains an understanding of what they are looking for, and finds the right fit—making lasting and meaningful connections.
Hunt started her career in human resources. She enjoyed the nature of the work, but when she returned after taking time off to raise her two children she was in need of direction. Along with the challenge of getting back into the workforce, Hunt realized that she was looking for a career change. She wanted to make a shift from human resources to counseling so she returned to Northeastern, where she got her undergraduate degree, to earn her master’s in career counseling. “I knew I loved working one-on-one with people and I realized I had a knack for helping people realize what they wanted to be doing and matching them up with employers. It seemed like the perfect fit,” says Hunt.
As time passed, she felt more and more motivated to help some of the women she had encountered who were also having trouble making the transition to starting work again after taking time off. She knew she wanted to help them find their way back to professional success—she just had to figure out the right way to do it.
After three jobs in counseling, Hunt ended up at Wentworth in a role that allows her to focus on employer relations. She meets with companies, trying to find opportunities for students that are aligned with their mission and needs. She also runs her own business outside of the office: Women’s Career Rebuilder Program. Hunt and her business partner—who had a similar vision for ways to help women—launched the program in October and they have already seen progress. Through a series of classes, workshops, and employer information sessions, followed by a job placement (similar to an internship), participants gain the skills and confidence to re-enter the workforce.
The first class included eight women who had all been out of work for more than ten years to raise their families. “It’s been very rewarding. I love having the opportunity to help someone find their way and just feel more confident re-entering the workforce again,” says Hunt.
- Dennis Nealon