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Advisor Resources-Student Resources-Advisor Forum Presentation Spring 2011 planned happenstance theory introduced in 1999 by Mitchell, Levin, and

Krumboltz: constructing unexpected career opportunities and purport that students can plan, be prepared for, and even construct or generate chance career events in their lives. As Advisors we should recognize the underlying truth of this theory as many of us happened into advising as a career. Chance favors the prepared mind Pasteur Our job is not only help students plan and prepare but also construct make meaning of and capitalize on unplanned career events. When we work with students who cannot decide on specific details related to future careers, we are often at a loss as to what steps will help the student progress in the face of indecision. Advisors can apply planned happenstance to help students develop traits and skills and have experiences that will eventually make them desirable condidtaes in the competitive job market. By helping the student process and make meaning of these experiences and skilss, the advisor directs the student toward decision-making when chance opportunities arise.
Advisors assist students in defining methods to attain transferrable skills and employable traits through enriched learning opportunities: volunteering, part-time work, mentored research, internships, study abroad, student involvement, and leadership experiences. These skills, traits, and experiences will help students discover what is possible and how they can benefit a potential employer. The goal is to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right tools. Planned happenstance lists five traits students must develop to take advantage of opportunity: curiosity, persistence, flexibility, optimism, and risk-taking. The advisor helps the student identify options, make decisions, and move forward. Rather than telling the student what is possible, the advisors role is to help the student discover what is attainable. Advisors must be careful not to tell the student that anything is possible or to censor the students dreams. This brings us to risk-taking. To help students develop the trait of curiosity, advisors should direct students to explore new learning opportunities that will teach them the process of defining their personal interests. As advisors encourage students to exert effort despite setbacks, this persistence may help the student reopen doors that may have been closed due to previous failure or premature decisions. Encouraging students to stay flexible in light of changing attitudes and circumstances will help them see, in new ways, things they may have been interested in previously or how things have changed. Through planned happenstance, advisors assist students to transform curiosity into opportunities, teach them how to produce desirable chance events, and help them overcome blocks to action. Paula Landon Humanities Advisement Center Brigham Young University paula_landon@byu.edu. W. Kerry Hammock University Advisement Center Brigham Young University Kerry_Hammock@byu.edu. References Mitchell, K. E., Levin, A. S., & Krumboltz, J. D. (Sept 1999). Planned Happenstance: Constructing Unexpected Career Opportunities, in Journal of Counseling and Development, 77(2), 115-124. ERIC # - EJ596777.