Career Connections

Welcome! We ask that vendors, employers and students first contact us at with questions about our services.  We can then direct your request to the appropriate staff member.  

You may also find the following links helpful:

  • Employers: Post jobs and recruit Lake Forest College students
  • Students: Schedule an advising appointment or apply for internships and jobs
  • Vendors: Share information about your website, resource or service
  • Forester Career Network: Volunteer to connect with students and recent alumni


Dana Olson
Career Center and
Event Manager


Dana Olson supports event management, employer relations, communications, and office operations.

Before coming to Lake Forest College, Dana worked for five years in non-profit management, communications and event management in Seattle, WA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Sociology from Augustana College. In her free time, Dana enjoys training for triathlons and teaching her old dog new tricks.

Lisa Hinkley
Associate VP for Career and Professional Development

Lisa Hinkley is the Director of the Career Advancement Center and Director of the Academic Internship Program. She is a member of  the President’s Senior Staff team and is charged with leading career preparation efforts for the College.

During her 10+ years of experience in career services, she has taught courses on leadership, career decision-making, and job search strategies.  She also presents at national and regional conferences on topics that include managing in times of change and developing innovative programs to meet the needs of special populations.  Lisa serves on the advisory board for the Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI), which specializes in researching students’ transition from college to work. 

Lisa earned her master’s degree in student affairs administration from Michigan State University and bachelor’s degree in political science from Bradley University.  She loves to learn and beyond the world of career development is especially interested in health, fitness, and food.

 Alina Guarise
Associate Director 


Alina Guarise oversees employer relations, communications, assessment and office operations.

With over eight years combined experience in consulting, non-profit management and career services, Alina actually started her higher education at Lake Forest College in the Career Advancement Center. She later moved to New York University to pursue her MPA and work at the Wasserman Center for Career Development. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Illinois - Champaign/Urbana.

Smret Smith
Associate Director

Smret Smith primarily works with students considering law school and majoring in Asian studies, history, international relations, Latin American studies, modern languages, politics, religion, and sociology/anthropology.

Smret has over 14 years of experience as a career development specialist in administrative and counseling roles, this consists of 9 years in higher education and 5 years in corporate recruiting/human resources and consulting.

She has a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Communication with an emphasis in intercultural communication and business. She has a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with a focus on law and communication. She has taught college courses for over 5 years. Smret serves as a leader in campus-wide career preparation efforts alongside of her academic liaison/internship supervision responsibilities. She is also the CAC liaison to the Pre-Law Advisory Committee.


Joe Chmura
Assistant Director

Joe Chmura works primarily with students who have an interest in the worlds of business, economics, finance, computer science, mathematics, communication, and education to help align career interests with their professional goals.  

Joe graduated from Niagara University with a degree in business administration and has broad experience as a human resource executive and business leader. His career ranges from medical and pharmaceuticals sales to a variety of roles in H.R., including senior executive positions at Baxter Healthcare and Follett Library Resources.

Throughout his career he has worked with students at a variety of universities, creating unique intern and rotation opportunities that resulted in rewarding careers. He has also worked to support the continuing mission and growth of Chicago schools including Hales Franciscan High School. Joe has also served on the Board of Directors of the Lake County Workforce Investment Board and the McHenry County Workforce Investment Board, where he served as the vice chair.

Victoria Beagle
Assistant Director

Victoria Beagle assists students who are primarily interested in American studies, art, art history, digital media design, English, music, music education, philosophy, print and digital publishing, and theater with career exploration and in pursuing professional aspirations.

After earning her Bachelor of Arts from Adrian College, where she studied sociology, studio art, education and business administration, Victoria began her career as a secondary visual arts educator. While in art education, she taught courses in art and design, drawing, photography, mixed media, jewelry, and sculpture. Victoria has experience teaching foundation level courses, Color and 2D Design, for Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Victoria holds a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Teaching from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies from Loyola University Chicago. Upon completing her degree at Loyola, Victoria joined the ACM Chicago Program as the Internship Coordinator, facilitating internship placements, guiding students in the internship process, and maintaining employer relations.

Colleen Monks
Assistant Director

Colleen Monks works primarily with undecided students, self-designed majors, and those interested in health professions, sciences, and psychology to discover their interests and to develop and pursue their professional goals.  

Before coming to Lake Forest College, Colleen worked at Northwestern University Career Advancement and taught a first-year experience course for students in engineering and applied sciences.  She brings with her over 5 years of experience counseling and advising college students on topics relating to student success with a focus on career development.  Prior to her work in Career Services, Colleen served in a variety of roles within education settings including Student Support Services TRiO advisor and applied behavior analysis therapist.  

Colleen graduated from DePaul University with a Master of Education in Counseling, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Ohio State University.  In her spare time, Colleen enjoys trying out new restaurants in downtown Chicago and playing beach volleyball by Lake Michigan in the summer.


Melinda Pudlo
 Department Assistant


Melinda Pudlo graduated from Benedictine University with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. She obtained her MBA from Dominican University. After working in the corporate world for many years, in various positions of administration, account management, and marketing, Melinda joined Lake Forest College in the fall of 2005 as the Career Advancement Center’s department assistant.

Melinda’s role is to assist the Career Advancement Center’s staff, Lake Forest College students, and faculty with the events and activities sponsored by the Career Advancement Center. 

To learn about the faculty internship supervisors, browse the internships section of the site.

Our dedicated team of Student Ambassadors help promote Career Advancement Center events and provide administrative support.