Community Involvement Outside of the Workplace
I think that maintaining networks outside of OSU have helped to keep me sane and also introduced me to a diversity of experiences and knowledge that I would otherwise not have. Some outside involvement has been formal in nature, including my membership in professional associations like NASPA, NODA, and OJO (Oregon Judicial Officers). These memberships have allowed me to gainaccess to numerous resources, including journal articles, webinars, and conference presentations. My memberships have also introduced me to the key issues, concepts, and buzz words within specific areas of student affairs. Most importantly, I have been able to network with other student affairs professionals and develop a bond among people with similar professional and personal values and interests as myself. I think about my experience as a NODA intern and realize that having the chance to work with and reflect with other up and coming professionals in the field was invaluable to helping my examine my fit in the field and how my skills and knowledge fit into the greater scope of student affairs. In other words, community involvement is key for professional development and I plan to stay connected to such organizations in the future, particularly as I look towards the huge learning curve associated with a new job.
In addition to the formal communities I have become involved in, I think it is only fair to mention how beneficial it has been to maintain social communities outside of the sphere of graduate school and work. While I will be the first to admit that I have not been particularly good at this during the past two years, I am quite confident that I will seek out such engagement in the future. Of particular interest to me will be recommitting myself to service work and becoming an active participant in the AmeriCorps Alumni network. In addition, I plan to continue being a member of my university’s learning community by continuing to take classes and engage in the classroom communities that are ever-present on college campuses.