The Road to Here and Now

by Megan Reilly

Every student affairs practitioner has a story of their professional and personal journey. I love hearing these stories from seasoned professionals, incoming grad students and everyone in between or beyond. As a new professional and still a current graduate student working on my masters in higher education administration, I recognize that my story includes many of common elements. I was drawn to the field by professionals I encountered as an undergraduate. I was involved in orientation, residence life, and Greek life and decided to dedicate my career to serving students in the way my advisors served me during those formative years. Since this is my first week writing for The First Years, I decided to share the story of my road to where I am today.

This week I begin my second year of graduate school at the George Washington University in our nation’s beautiful capital. DC has been one of my favorite places since I first visited at age ten. As a California native who went to a university with a view of the Pacific Ocean, moving to DC after college was like entering a whole new world. It was a much-needed change of pace and an exciting opportunity to start anew. I took my first year in DC as a gap year to apply to grad schools and ultimately decided to stay in DC. My decision to attend George Washington (GW) came down to one thing. It offered me an opportunity to pursue both of my passions: public policy and student affairs. The GW Higher Education program has six concentration tracks and one of them is higher ed policy. I would be extremely happy with an on-campus career in student affairs, but after studying political science for four years in undergraduate, I didn’t want to give up on my aspirations of working on federal policy research either. I like that I have been given the opportunity to blend my interests in this unique way and I look forward to job searching in two very different arenas over the course of my career.

I strongly believe in making your education your own and am grateful to GW’s program flexibility which really allows me to take control of my education and my career preparation. I don’t know where this road will take me, but I like where it’s brought me so far. And although I wouldn’t say everything is perfect, I am happy to be where I am and eagerly look forward to what lies ahead.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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