New Academic Year

For as long as I can remember, my life has revolved around the academic calendar. My “year” starts in September, not January. Even during the couple years between undergrad and grad school, I lived on a calendar similar to the academic calendar. I couldn’t shake it. Next Tuesday, the new year starts at UMD. Well, the year really started today, I guess. Faculty were back on campus and Med School classes started. Freshman move on-campus on Thursday. I even had my first presentation today for the freshman student athletes in football and volleyball. However, classes officially start next Tuesday. I’m ready, yet not. There are some bigger projects hanging over from the summer that haven’t been quite finished yet. That’s what this week is for…tying up loose ends before the craziness of the school year really sets in and I’m busy with supervising my students, taking student appointments, and attending meetings.

All that said, there are several things that I’m excited about as the new school year starts.

1. Implementing new training for our student employees. One of our students who worked this summer did an fantastic job collaborating with me (and the other professional staff who are supervisors) to put together an awesome online component to our student employee training. It was one of those instances where the timing, project, and personnel were a perfect match. I think we’ve come up with some really great new training ideas…especially for “challenging” our students who are starting their third or fourth years.

2. Solidifying our office role on campus as a social media leader. This is an ongoing process. As our campus proceeds more and more into the social media realm, I strive for Career & Internship Services to continue being at the forefront. One of the cooler things that happened this summer was connecting with incoming freshman before they even got to campus.

3. Working with the Peer Educators and feeling more comfortable in my role of supervising them. Last year, I was asked about two weeks before the school year if I would supervise the Peers. Then I proceeded to kind of fly by the seat of my pants for the entire school year. This year, I feel so much more prepared. I hope they’re ready to get some work done! I’m looking forward to hiring and training a few new students and also challenging my returners. I want them to continue to grow as employees, students, and people as they work for us. I think I’ve created an environment where that can happen.

4. Joining the Commission for Women on campus. I wanted to dive deeper into getting involved on campus. I thought this might be a good place to start. I’m looking forward to meeting and working with some fabulous ladies from across the campus.

5. Hitting my stride. I don’t know how else to describe this feeling I’ve been having lately, except that I feel like I’m hitting my stride in this job. I’m starting year three. I know the campus, I know my role, and I’m still excited to learn and grow to be better at my job. It’s a wonderful feeling. It took a long time to get here. I don’t know if I’ve felt this way about any other jobs I’ve had – both in and out of the University world.

Well, there you have it. This is what I’m excited about as the new school year is starting.

What about your job is exciting you these days?

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