Our team of highly trained and experienced Employment and Training Specialists are ready to learn about you, your specific industry job goals, and how they can help you get there.
Each specialist focuses on specific industries such as: Arts/Media/Entertainment, Information Technology, Healthcare, and Transportation/Building/Construction Trades.
The Career Services Team
Zach Lam – Assistant Director, Strong Workforce Program
I’ve spent my career at the intersection of education and social work, first as a WIA case manager and then as a program manager for drop-out re-engagement and college access programs in WA state. I’ve worked almost exclusively with special populations, designing programs specifically for homeless young adults, individuals in immigration detention, and young adults involved in the juvenile justice system. Throughout my career I have seen the transformative power of education to liberate minds, create a sense of purpose, and grant access to financial stability. My time working with homeless individuals taught me that workforce development is the most viable and sustainable anti-poverty strategy and I am excited to be doing this important work in the city I grew up in.
Janel Hadden – Research Assistant
Cooperative Work Experience
Janel has been with CCSF since 1997 holding various roles within the Workforce and Economic Development Department. She strives to be as resourceful as possible to our students, staff and faculty. You will often find her around campus doing outreach--passing out chocolates and sharing information about Career Services. When she is not working at the college, her two boys keep her busy with activities. She has a passion for being as green and earth friendly as possible and loves finding new ways to save money!
Quote: “Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open.” - James Dewar
Steve Nelson – Employment and Training Specialist
Information Technology and Computer Science
What gets Steve up every morning and across the Bay to City College is the prospect of assisting students with discovering their passions and communicating their life experiences and skills to potential employers. Steve has six years of experience in the employment services field working with diverse Bay Area students from all walks of life. When he is not working with students and employers, he is wading through the rivers of Northern California collecting beautiful stones, hunting for non-hallucinogenic mushrooms, and sorting through his garden compost pile.
Quote: “If at first you don’t succeed, try something different.” - Anonymous
Ocean Campus Arts 210
Arya Zarrinkelk – Employment and Training Specialist
Arts, Media, and Entertainment
Arya Zarrinkelk is the Steve Kerr of career counseling. Never officially being a career counselor before his previous tenure at Bay Area Video Coalition, Arya has helped over 300 clients ranging from ages seventeen to seventy find employment and higher education opportunities. Arya balances a warm and fun approach to career counseling with a strict level of accountability. Arya won't let his clients fail. His mantra is "lent now, mardi gras later." He attributes his success to his colleagues at BAVC, playing bass, and his innate ability to grow amazing beards.
Quote: "Every morning I wake up and sing my mantra like the blues, I cannot lose. Time to get up and move." - Quelle Chris
Melissa McPeters - Employment and Training Specialist
Transportation & Building & Construction Trades Sectors
Melissa has worked in gearing up students up for jobs for over a decade. But that's not all. She uses her Taekwondo experience to overcome hurdles and to encourage others to see that our primary obstacle is sometimes ourselves. Melissa is very project-oriented and loves home construction, gardening, fashion design, cooking, exercising, and traveling. She looks forward to helping students reach their goals!
Quote: “Never stray from the Way.” ― Miyamoto Musashi
Nhi Tran - Employment and Training Specialist
Nhi is very passionate about Higher Education and is motivated by the diverse students she is fortunate enough to work with. Her previous experience as an Academic Counselor for undergraduate, graduate, and international populations fueled her devotion to helping students achieve their educational and professional goals. Nhi enjoys trying new food places, traveling and soaking up all the culture.
Quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou
John Adams Center
Brett Berning - Employment and Training Specialist
Education, Public & Social Services
Brett has worked in public, private, and non-profit sectors intersecting youth development, public health, student affairs, workforce development, and most recently the cannabis industry with a focus on social equity. Since 2014, he has immersed himself in the Bay Area workforce system engaging with hundreds of employers and thousands of job seekers, helping to make meaningful and lasting employment connections. He lives in a bilingual (Spanish-English) home with his two young children, Spanish-speaking partner, and Greyhuahua (pesky Chihuahua and lightning-quick Italian Greyhound). He enjoys rollerblading, running, and dancing. Brett also loves coffee, and free food.
Quote: "Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better." - Émile Coué
Margaret Potts - Employment and Training Specialist
Business, Management & Entrepreneurship
Margaret has worked in employment services for over four years assisting transitional age youth from highly diverse backgrounds in finding long-term competitive employment. She finds joy in discovering the unique potential and passions of each student then strategizing for the best career opportunity possible to meet their interests, needs and skill sets. She’s lived across the United States calling Saint Louis, Chicago, South Dakota and California home. She loves expressing herself through fashion and creativity, playing the drums and guitar, gardening, photography and figure skating.
Quote: “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein
Ocean Campus & Downtown Center