This is My Story

NCC, National Certified Counselor
LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor, State of Texas
M.A., Masters in Professional Counseling, Texas State University
B.S., Bachelors of Science Psychology, Louisiana State University

Hi there, feel free to call me “Mel”!  Welcome to Ama La Vida, I am so glad you are here.  I have had the privilege of calling many places home.  I was born on the east coast (Delaware), grew up in the south (Louisiana), went to graduate school in the heart of Texas (Austin), and now call the west coast home (California).  I’ve got that east coast grit, southern charm, and west coast adventurous spirit! You can usually find me traveling, hiking outdoors, practicing yoga, or listening to live music.  While I refer to myself as a southern gal, my eclectic background of homes and travel experiences have reinforced my love for working with people, particularly within career development.

I have worked within career services for the last eight years and am elated that every day I am able to assist individuals in achieving their career goals.  My experiences within career centers include Texas State University, The University of Texas at Austin, and currently at the University of California, Davis.  While certainly not exclusive to these fields, my background has been focused in healthcare, biological sciences, and technology sectors. Not only have I worked with undergraduates to PhD students, but alumni and non-traditional students as well.  I am passionate about diversity, inclusion, and equality in the recruitment process, particularly for traditionally marginalized populations.

My background includes expertise in career exploration, job search techniques, recruitment, interviewing skills, personal branding/marketing, and resume/cover letter development.  As a Career Specialist with Ama La Vida, I will work hand-in-hand with you to match your career vision to your application materials, branding, and professional image. Whether you aim to advance in current company or are transitioning into an entirely new industry, with my personalized approach, I will ensure that you stand out from the crowd and impress those hiring managers!

While I have a background in Professional Counseling, my style is person-centered, action-oriented and solution-focused.  As a Career Specialist, I do not focus on therapy in the traditional, counseling-sense. However, I augment my counseling background to create a space where you can feel heard, empowered and confident in your personal branding and application materials.  My goal is to push you out of your comfort zone and into areas of personal growth and career development while providing the support, encouragement, and direction that you need along the way. Are you ready to invest in yourself? If so, I look forward to working with you soon!

Check Out Melanie On The ALV Blog 

From The Horse's Mouth...

“I worked with Mel – She re-worked my resume and answered all my job search related questions. Well worth the money, I truly felt like they were there every step of the way. It was a very personal experience that I truly appreciated. I never felt like I was “just another client”, but rather it was a partnership to help get me to my next step in my career. I will definitely be going back to Ama La Vida if I need any other help moving my career forward.”


“Ama La Vida was a great experience! Melanie helped me with interviewing skills to help me get an entry level position when i graduated from college. I got a position and I truly think the confidence she helped give me in my mock interview helped me get the position. She also follows up with you about how your interview process is going and how you are doing. Very personable and professional.”


“I am based in Seattle, but had the pleasure of working with Mel remotely. We had a brief phone conversation in which we discussed how she could help revamp my resume. She was very warm and inquisitive. She made the most of our short time together and I was very surprised (and extremely pleased at) how quickly she got back to me with an initial draft of the resume. After another phone conversation where we dove further into the components of the resume and dug out all of the lingering details, I received a final and very polished product that I was confident to send off to potential employers. Thank you for making everything so easy, Mel!

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