Michael Sanchez

Position title: Graduate Student Project Assistant

Michael Sanchez, M.S. is a Project Assistant at the Center for College-Workforce Transitions (CCWT), WCER Fellow, and a Doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Originally from Jacksonville, NC, Michael received a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and worked in the Bay Area as a Recruiter at Airbnb before receiving his Master of Science in Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Based on his experience as a low-income first-generation college student, Michael is passionate about clarifying the path from learning to employment for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. During his tenure at Airbnb, Michael designed and led the first iteration of Airbnb Connect, an apprenticeship program developed to provide individuals from underrepresented backgrounds with a pathway to transition careers into software engineering. At the CCWT, Michael works on the Tuned In Labs initiative and the mixed-methods College Internship Study.

Michael’s overall research agenda focuses on investigating how structural forces related to power, privilege, and oppression impact vocational and psychological outcomes for individuals across the lifespan. He is interested in understanding social class from a cultural perspective; his research interests include assessing the psychological impact of social class code-switching and social mobility as it relates to identity development and career development processes.

As a Counseling Psychologist in training, Michael practices from an existential-phenomenological theoretical lens. Michael’s clinical interests include working with adult clients with complex trauma experiences and across domains of identity development (i.e., vocational identity, LGBTQ+), meaning-making, depression, anxiety, life design, career construction, and both individual- and community-level mental health interventions.

On a more personal note, Michael enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, hiking, singing karaoke, running, and reading philosophy.