I'm Thankful For...My Student Affairs Mentor

by Dylan Ruffra

I am so thankful to be in the field where I get to help students each and every day. To be honest though, I would not be here if I did not have such great mentors. There are so many people that have helped me along my student affairs journey and I do not know where I would be without them. As my journey started they have helped me every step of the way. When I was starting my job search process I had a million and one questions, and they were there to help answer anything I needed. As I have gotten my first position they have been here to help me celebrate through my wins and to talk me trough my losses. Within starting my first student affairs positions, I found mentors on my campus to help me though my classes and different job search processes. My mentors have helped me have such great success and I am thankful for all they do to help me.
When I started my job search process a year ago, there were many Hall Directors that gave me quite a bit of help. I would be lost without them, since I had no idea where to start. They helped me make sure that I had a good resume, and then basically helped me make a cover letter from scratch.  With having different interviews they basically taught me how to operate a placement exchange. There were so many different schools and they helped me figure out the factors that I wanted in a school and in a position. It was important to me that I was able to get a lot of experience doing a lot of different things.  They made sure that I was able to get the position that best suited me. Going through my interviews, my mentors supported me to the fullest and made sure I was ready for anything.  My success from my interviews, I owe greatly to them. When I was discouraged and felt like things were not going to work out, they became a huge support system for me. I am so appreciative and thankful for the ways that they helped me and I would not be in the field if it were not for them.
This year as I started my grad school process, I did not really have that many people to help me operate through classes at first. I was so excited when some of the second year cohort students reached out to help us through the process. Through joining a student organization, all of the first year students were able to get a second year mentor. My mentor has been really helpful to me over the course of this semester. It has been really beneficial to talk to someone about what is going on in class and how they handled different projects. My mentor has also been really helpful with encouraging me to take opportunities to grow as a professional. She is always supporting me with the decisions I make. As I am going to be looking for an internship soon, she has been real helpful in letting me know dates and deadlines. Having this mentor is one of the main reasons why I am having such a great first semester at UND.
I do think that I could ever tell my mentors how thankful I am for all they help they have given me. Not only do my mentors help me through my student affairs journey, but they inspire me each and every day with their hard work in their field. They are people that I can truly count on when I need help. It is important to me that I have those people that I am able to turn to when I need them. Their mentorship over the past couple of years has truly helped and I am so thankful for everything they have given me.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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  1. Just wait until the day this post is about you!!! One of my favorite things about my mentors is knowing that they are my biggest cheerleaders and want to see me successful, but also that they too were in my shoes and know what it takes to achieve success and will push me until I get there!

  2. So proud of you Dylan!!! I couldn't be more thankful to have had the opportunity to supervise you in your first year as an RA and to watch you continue to blossom and excel. To call you a colleague is a great honor!


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