My “Fit” Within the Profession
I think that my desire and need for hands-on learning will keep me in the role of student affairs practitioner for quite a while. I plan on working in many different areas of student affairs in order to learn the in and outs before I attempt to move into greater leadership roles. I know that I cannot simply read up on a new area of specialization or go to a series of conferences and absorb knowledge and therefore I will need to seek out jobs that allow me to wear multiple hats and get experience in many different areas.
I am well aware that my introvert tendencies will play a key role in the positions I take and the tasks I enjoy the most. Academic advising and conduct have both afford me with lots of opportunities to work with students in one-on-one settings and I will invariably seek out similar opportunities in the future. With this said, I have greatly enjoyed my time in the classroom both as an instructor and as an orientation advisor and will no doubt seek out more of these experiences in the future. My ideal teaching environment would be in a small learning community dedicated to enhancing the first-year experience.
Lastly, if it hasn’t already become obvious, I will state for the record that I bring a great passion for dissecting issues and programs to my work in student affairs. I have enjoyed countless hours with others in my cohort talking about the philosophical side of student affairs and then brainstorming ways in which we will do things differently. I enjoy being in the think tank: breaking things down, looking at all the parts or processes, and trying to think about innovative ways in which things can be adjusted in order to make them more effective and efficient. Along these same lines, I am good at devising the knowledge and tools that people will need in order to make their work easier. As far as the implementation of such brainstorming is concerned, well that isn’t really my forte. [Have you noticed how much data and analysis I bring up for very little conclusion?] and that is why I will ultimately need to collaborate with others who are willing to run with the ideas I’m throwing out. While I absolutely hate the word consultant, my abilities at analyzing systems, suggesting changes based on the needs, skills and objectives the a group and then moving on down the road may come in quite handy as I seek to find my ideal place within the field of student affairs.