by Olivia Miller
Last summer I was tasked with the role of chairing a subcommittee for the Berney Family Welcome Center, a renovated space to serve K-State students throughout their K-State journey. This new welcome center will house New Student Services and the newly formed Career Center (combining my office the Academic & Career Information Center and Career & Employment Services). The purpose of this building and the offices housed here is for students to have a central location through admissions, orientation and enrollment, finding a major and gaining employment by graduation. With the many changes this building brings, multiple committees and subcommittees were formed to create a smooth transition.
The subcommittee I have been a part of was the kick-off and celebration committee, and was given the task of organizing events for students – before the spring semester ended, during Orientation & Enrollment, and during the first week of classes in August (in addition to the official ribbon cutting with donors in November). Last Friday our first event, the sneak peek event, took place with students having the opportunity to see the inside of the building and the offices for the first time. Over 250 people attended the event, including our mascot Willie the Wildcat, and a great way to showcase the exciting future.
While serving as the chair has been at times the most difficult and stressful part of my assistantship this year, I am proud of the work we have accomplished as well as seeing our different offices represented in the planning process. We have had to deal with scheduling conflicts, a limited budget, worrying about stepping on donor’s toes and of course, marketing the event to get people to attend. However, on the day of the event all that stress slipped away as I was able to give students and staff a tour and hear their excitement about the building. By the end of the event I found myself disappointed that the event was over, as well as my time and work with the committee as I will be leaving before the other events take place.
Planning large events and working on committees with people outside of your office is never easy, but seeing the labor of your work and the final project is always worth it – and satisfying. Having the opportunity to serve as the chair allowed me to strengthen a variety of skills – communication, marketing, and leading those with more seniority than myself (as well as the necessary skill of adaptability). I encourage you to take a similar opportunity to work on a committee as another professional development opportunity.