A Year of Reflections – Go UWW!

 Photo by: Irargerich

It has been quite the year here at UW-Whitewater. It’s been amazing, especially in comparison to year one of grad school (which was just somewhere between okay and great). One of the main reasons for the uplift in mood was the change in employment. Year one of grad school was split between doing career counseling at Career & Leadership Development and student conduct at the Office of Student Life. Last year’s biggest lesson was that I will never ever again willing have a conduct-specific position. Just a personal preference that I don’t think I could have ever discovered if I hadn’t had the job. Loved the learning and my boss, just not the content of the position. My career position was just okay – more of a rehashing of the position I had as an undergrad at UW-Eau Claire. Wow did things change for this year! Since last May, I have only worked at Career & Leadership Development in a redesigned graduate assistant position. In the past 12 months I have met new challenges, taken advantage of numerous professional development opportunities, and truly reignited my passion for student affairs. In all fairness, the reignition happened a few months prior to last May, and it was in full force this year.

The projects I worked on during the past year are numerous. I researched and created content on job search strategies for the C&LD website. I also spent a good portion of the year working with our Internship Coordinator on different internship projects (ranging from researching internship programs to helping her present Internship Bootcamp during Internship Week at UWW). Laura has been awesome to work with and learn from. At one point, I told her that I wanted her job. Not actually “her job,” but a position working with Internships at another university. I also was a part of the team that created and launched the Career Spotlight blog for the career part of C&LD. Writing for the blog has been a lot of fun. I have gotten to dive deeper into the world of social media and blogging. I challenged myself to write about topics that I wasn’t always super comfortable with at first. That forced me to do some solid research about different topics to be able to put forth top-notch information for the UWW student population. I wrote on topics ranging from what to do with different liberal arts majors, grad school, green careers, etc. Through the blog, I discovered that one of my interest areas is working with and researching green careers and the green economy. It’s a booming industry and students need to know where to find information and opportunities to connect to it. The last major project that I undertook this year was revamping an existing program for working with resumes and created the “Resume Dr.” The new version of the event got the staff out of the office and connecting with students in different areas around campus. We’ve all enjoyed the change of pace and believe that we have been able to reach students who may have never otherwise visited our office.

Along with the different projects, I met with students on a constant basis. That’s my favorite part of the whole job. I saw something recently on Twitter about the day that you aren’t there for the students, is the day that you need to get out of student affairs. I hope that specific day never comes for me. I feel that is best reflection of the past year – students are the driving force for the work that I do. Yes, I may sit at my desk for hours researching internship programs, and I do that so we can have those programs easily accessible to students. The student is number one priority! I have also come to absolutely love the UW-Whitewater campus this year. Part of that comes from finally being fully immersed in the Career & Leadership Development office. I’ve had colleagues tell me that they forget I only work 20 hours a week – it’s as if I’m always there. I think that’s pretty flattering. The people that I work with are awesome and I hope that whatever university I end up at after grad school, that the people are just as awesome.

In summary:

  • Students = driving force for the work I do
  • Passion for the work = loving my job 
  • I had an awesome year!     

Onward to year 3 (at UWW and UW-Madison)!

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