The Wellesley College community boasts about its tightly bound student body and the strong connections formed between students and faculty. The unique connections that Wellesley students make with their peers, professors, staff members, supervisors, employers and the larger community around them are unparalleled. However, this deeply rooted sense of community has not developed without significant work and dedication. This great feat can be indebted to multiple individuals throughout the college’s 144-year history, but currently, Destiny Barletta, Wellesley’s career community advisor for arts, communications, and media,helps embody this sentiment.
A Missouri native and Mount Holyoke College graduate, Barletta initially came to Boston for a job with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She spent 17 years as the Director of Exhibitions, Marketing and Publications at a contemporary art gallery in Boston, but eventually decided she wanted to move on.
“[I] enjoyed planning and curating exhibitions, working with a diverse group of artists, [and]engaging with collectors and museums, but over time … I was too comfortable in my role and needed new challenges,” said Barletta. Acting as an inspiration to those facing big change and trying to determine what their futures entail, she applied for the Career Advisor role at Wellesley Career Education, which she felt “was necessary [to] continue growing” about 18 months ago. After getting the job, Barletta knew she was in for a future that may not always be easy, but would never cease to be rewarding.
In her current role, Barletta’s main tasks are to “support and connect students, employers, alumnae and faculty in this career community.” Such a task may sound simple enough given the already ambitious and organized nature of Wellesley students preparing for graduation, but Barletta has demonstrated significant effort in helping Wellesley students in the most efficient ways possible. She works one on one with both students and alumnae to advise them in employer relations and notify them of programs and events relevant to their intended careers. Her overarching goal in all of her work “is to create a physical and virtual community to educate Wellesley students on trends and issues in these areas, provide knowledge about professional pathways, and connect [students] with alumnae and employers for information and mentorship.” With such a beneficial and necessary contribution to the Wellesley community, it is simple to see why Barletta did not hesitate to dive into her role.
In her nearly two years at Wellesley, Barletta has thoroughly enjoyed the “unique combination of experiences, challenges, values, and aspirations” that Wellesley students and alumnae bring to the conversation. Their varying backgrounds, identities and understandings of the world have expanded her mindset in ways she never thought imaginable. However, she does find it “challenging to see students struggle with the idea of several possible professional pathways rather than a single ‘right’ choice.” As college students and recent graduates, it can be difficult to determine the best choice for your future so quickly and definitively. Thus, Barletta makes a point to always encourage her advisees to “live [their]way to the answer,” rather than worry incessantly about making the perfect choice just after graduation — or even before, as eager Wellesley students often tend to do.
While Barletta loves her job and all of the opportunities it offers and the people it introduces her to, she also has a profound interest “in contemporary studio ceramics and serve[s]on the board for a journal that promotes discussion of aesthetics, technology, criticism, and history within the ceramics community.” She has always enjoyed various styles of art, from “19th century American art [to] Japanese ceramics from the folk art movement.” Besides her fascinating work with students and long term passions for all artistic endeavors, Barletta also “used to have a private pilot license,” which allowed her to witness “the unique perspective of exploring the landscape from 12,000 feet above!” Much like her work at Wellesley, her time as a private pilot allowed her to look at things differently and approach situations in a new way.
Wellesley College works diligently to open minds and expand the worldview of all those that encounter its values, and such a mission has been particularly successful with Destiny Barletta. She has been encouraged to think in different ways and operate under a new mentality, and she has appreciated it greatly.
Speaking of all that Wellesley has brought into her life in just the last 18 months, Barletta said, “The Wellesley Community has offered many opportunities to consider the value of the phrase, ‘May we seek more to understand than to convince.’” Furthermore, Barletta keeps such advice at the forefront of her mind in every meeting, conversation and encounter she has within the Wellesley Community. If you ever need career counseling or just want to discuss all things art, you know who to email: Destiny Barletta.