Your Path

As I gear up for searching for my first full-time position combined with it being Career in Student Affairs Month (#CSAM) I find myself reflecting on my path into this field. I’ve asked myself a lot of questions such as, why did I choose this, where do I want to go with this, and what do I want to get out of it? I may not know all the answers, but I know why I choose this field – I wanted to help students, to teach students, to ensure students are able to get the most of their college experience. I am grateful for what I have already gotten out of this field, and where I want to go – I want to continue helping students.
Enough about me though, the real issue at hand this month is how do we know who to recruit into the field? Fellow writer, @ammamarfo, wrote about this in a post, which inspired me. I also have a student this semester who is gearing up for OPE and the grad search, which has led me down this path. Who and how do we know to recruit to the field of Student Affairs? Are you going to OPE and NASPA to search?

What if they are interested in another field? A friend and I often have this discussion and he takes a very strong stance that we should not try to persuade students who are interested in other fields of work into ours. I agree to a point, we should never use coercion, but exposing them to the possibility could be a service we owe to that student. 

What do you do when you’re not sure on fit? Well fortunately for us that is not only up to us. I think we need to trust in the system, guide them to the resources, and then let them go from there. This does not mean serving as a positive reference, but it means making sure that students have access and knowledge of the resources out there. We can never be sure of where an undergraduate student may go after completing their degree.   Some paths may include graduate school or even in a full-time position they may blossom into an extraordinary professional that we dream of being! Let’s give them a chance.

I know I didn’t answer my own question, but here are my answers to @ammamarfo post! What questions do you have? Do you have an answer to mine? What was your path? I would love to hear!

In peace,

Ryan Bye

Student Affairs - the First Years

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