John Coate

John Coate
Assistant Director


(805) 893-4643

What are some of your favorite career-related resources to share with students?: 

I’ve always had an “outside-in” approach to career resources.  That is, start by getting a broad sense of a career area and then work your way in towards specific opportunities and where you might fit best.  So targeted periodicals and books are a great place to start, learning about the different areas of an industry, the top organizations, the “vocabulary” of the field, and whether your interest is genuine.  The O-Net website also has some great general occupational information.  "Live" people would be next, talking to and/or shadowing successful professionals in the field, picking their brains about all things career.  And then digging into the most effective networking and job search sites - GauchoLink, LinkedIn,, et al.  And, of course, utilizing UCSB Career Services for guidance through all of this!

What piece of advice do you have for undergraduates? Graduates?: 

I say finding a great career fit is like finding a partner in marriage.  We all know those rare individuals who met their partner in junior high or high school and stayed together for life.  For the vast majority, though, there was a lengthy period of dating a variety of people.  Same with career choice.  So try not to get caught up in the pressure to find the perfect fit right away, but rather focus your energy on assessing and exploring your most prevalent career “themes,” and gaining significant experience in the areas that stand out the most.  If you stay true to yourself, success should take care of itself.  As one of my favorite quotes says, “There are many things in life that will catch you eye, but only a few that will capture your heart.  Follow those things.”

What are your specialty areas?: 

Like all of us here, where we value highly the versatility of our work as both career development generalists and specialists, I have a few main areas of focus. As coordinator of our Student Services Team (as well as a fellow counselor!), I oversee efforts to maintain the highest quality of career services, programming, and resources to all UCSB students. This is only achieved through our strong commitment to staying highly current and connected in all aspects essential to students’ successful transitions from school to career. I am also charged, as Coordinator of Graduate Student Services, with ensuring that the unique career development needs of our graduate student population are being met with the same dedication to cutting-edge quality and effectiveness. From the academic and non-academic job search, to CV critiques, interview preparation, and career re-assessment, we strive to be a valued and trusted career resource for students in masters and PhD programs.