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 – Director of Apprenticeships & ISAs
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
Desean Deams - Employment and Training Specialist
Transportation & Building & Construction Trades
DeSean Deams is a proud San Francisco native with a background in Career Technical Education, Firefighting, and Nursing. While working in the medical field, DeSean wanted to find a way to bring his skills and love for nursing to the community, particularly with students interested in the field. Working as a Career Pathways Specialist was the perfect union for his two passions. Prior to Nursing and Education, DeSean also served in the United States Air Force working as a Firefighter and Paramedic. DeSean is excited to bring his experience, enthusiasm and love for the Career Education to the CCSF community this Fall.
Quote: “Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.” ― Maya Angelou
Nicole Tuet - Employment and Training Specialist
Nicole graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a double major in Social Welfare and Sociology. Growing up in San Francisco, Nicole developed deep-rooted passions for community service, education, and workforce development, which inspired her to give back to her community through her career. She had the privilege of serving a diverse and high-need population in San Francisco by creating job opportunities and advocating for the needs of her clients and their families. Additionally, she had organized over 30 events that connected Bay Area high school and college students with academic guidance, career opportunities, and professional resources in both United States and abroad.
It is truly beautiful when a career and a passion merge. Nicole has found a productive outlet for her desire to help individuals through her work in CCSF, where she can continue to empower individuals to discover, develop, and celebrate their skills and full potential.
John Adams Center
Margaret Potts - Employment and Training Specialist
Business, Management & Entrepreneurship
I began working in education shortly after leaving high school as a volunteer teacher for four years across inner-city Chicago public schools and later as a volunteer teacher, basketball coach and bus driver on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Since moving to the Bay, I've worked with transitional aged at-risk and uniquely abled youth providing them with access to employment and ongoing one-on-one support well before and after finding a job. As a certified ESL instructor, I've used my training throughout my career to support immigrants and language learners from every background. I've been developing and leveraging employer connections for students across the Bay for nearly six years, and it never gets old watching students achieve their goals, receive higher pay, and make it in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Quote: "There are times when the compass points, and others when it spins. When we note the difference, we save ourselves time, stress and energy."
Ocean Campus & Downtown Center
Tina Zhong - Employment and Training Specialist
Education, Public & Social Services
Tina has successfully guided over 175 clients in obtaining employment opportunities by assisting them with their job search, job applications, resume writing, and interview preparation. It is her goal to bring equity, diversity, and inclusion into the workforce by placing clients across various ethnicities, gender, age, disabilities and more. As a former CCSF student and Sociology major, Tina is thrilled to return to CCSF campus as staff and serve the faculty and students! On her free time, you can find Tina snaping pictures of her food with her phone, listening to audiobooks, discovering new hiking trails, and dining at the latest & greatest Instagram worthy restaurants.
Quote: “Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value. Look around at how people want to get more out of life than they put in. A man of value will give more than he receives. Be creative, but make sure that what you create is not a curse for mankind.” – Albert Einstein
Ocean Campus, MUB 307
Emily Burns - Employment and Training Specialist
Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)
Emily comes to City College of San Francisco from a community college across the Bay where she worked in Career Education, supporting short-term training programs and internships in STEM fields. From career exploration to interview preparation, Emily loves supporting students in their career development. She encourages creativity and enjoys helping students identify relevant skills and learning opportunities from unexpected places. A product of Bay Area higher education, Emily got her start at College of San Mateo before transferring to U.C. Berkeley to complete her B.A. in Sociology. Most recently, she earned her M.A. in Counseling & Guidance. Emily is excited to bring her passion and experience to support CCSF’s students and expand work-based learning opportunities in STEM! In her spare time, you can find Emily caring for her struggling plants, painting, and listening to podcasts on her commute.
Quote: "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive and do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."