JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson’s Career Assistance Advisor Senior Master Sgt. Karen Jakubczak is busy at work in her office here learning the details and responsibilities of her new position.
She plays an important role in enlisted development and advises service members about entitlements, benefits and career opportunities.
Career assistance advisors also provide various professional development courses.
While new to the position, Jakubczak has been at JBER for two and a half years, and is familiar with the base and its personnel.
She said she hopes to provide the best customer service and professional enhancement classes possible, using constructive criticism from the airmen who come through the classes.
“I like to take the feedback I get pretty seriously and not let things get stagnant,” Jakubczak said. “I want to constantly be updating and improving the programs that we provide. I want to take their observations and use it to facilitate development.”
Aside from providing building blocks for career success, the CAA also guides Airmen who are interested in retraining into different career fields.
Tech. Sgt. Whitney Colligan, a member of the 673rd Civil Engineer Squadron, knows as well as anyone the potential difficulty of retraining. Colligan has been part of the Air Force for 10 years in the civil engineering career field. She recently wanted to retrain into the health services management career field because it is closer to her degree.
“I knew the opportunity was out there, but I didn’t know very many details,” Colligan said. “I went to the subject matter expert and ultimately got the answers that I wanted.”
Colligan said she has faced numerous obstacles while trying to retrain. Through the CAA she was able to get the help and recourses she needed to be approved to retrain into health services management.
“Even when I was told I was ineligible for retraining, I didn’t take no for an answer. I went to the CAA,” Colligan said. “So always find answers and reach out to those recourses given to you.”
For more information regarding entitlements, benefits, career opportunities, or the professional enhancement seminars, contact 907-552-7829. The center is in room 106 at 6167 Doolittle Ave.