by Ryan Morgado

When I thought about my new career ahead of me, I looked forward to working with new staff, growing with new students, and learning about a brand new institution. I also looked forward to arriving at my new institution at some point during the summer, allowing me time and space to get to know the people I would be working with and the university I would be working for. Fate would not give me that opportunity. Much like a transfer student, I needed to learn how to navigate my new surroundings quickly.
I began my position on the first of October in 2015, putting me about mid-point through the semester. The school was in full gear, programs had happened and there were more to come, and the students that I advise had been together since March. This meant that I had no other option but to hit the ground running. I needed to begin to understand my new university, learn about the programs and services that our office offered, and build relationships with my fellow staff and advisees.
I mention none of this to make you anxious during your job search. Even if I had known exactly how challenging this experience would be, I would do it all over again. There is a certain level of task management that is only tapped into when you have to adjust to a brand new environment mid-way through a semester. I won’t lie, there were definitely highs and lows throughout this experience. Some days I felt overwhelmed, and some days I felt like nothing could stop me. But this is what you need to remember:
You are human.
You will make mistakes, you will forget the name of a staff member you met on campus, and you’ll forget to follow up on an email to a student. Don’t dwell and use these as learning opportunities.
You have people to lean on.
Rely on your co-workers. They might not have had to adjust mid-way through the semester, but they had to adjust at some point. Ask for their advice and remember they were in your shoes at some point. Don’t do this all by yourself.
Remember to breathe.

The experience of starting a new job (even if you come in during the summer) will exhaust you. Take time to reflect on your new experience, because just like the years of college behind you, your first year a as a professional will fly by. Be careful, blink and your might miss it.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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