The SA Professional “Final”

by Olivia Miller

For the first time in seven years I am not studying for finals or writing and submitting final papers – and it feels great. Finals week is definitely something I do not miss as a student, however in the professional world I am still evaluated. While students across the country are studying, procrastinating, and calculating their lowest possible grades, I went through my first Employee Quarterly Self-Assessment – or the SA Professional “Final.”

The Employee Quarterly Self-Assessment is something new that our supervisor wanted to implement with having three new advisors added to the team since this May. While I have had employee assessments before (at the end of each semester during my assistantship), this new and frequent self-assessment is something I enjoyed completing and look forward to around March. The self-assessment was organized in the following categories: Professional Development Activities, Top Areas of Growth, Areas for Improvement, Progress Towards Goals from Last Quarter, New Goals for this Quarter and Supervisor. In the almost 7 months I have been in my first professional role, I was surprised to see how much I have gained, learned and improved over those months – and appreciate the dedication of personal and professional development with accountability towards our goals.

What I am most proud of would be the rapport I have built with students, both those assigned to me and not assigned. As my supervisor mentioned, and discussed in my academic advising course last semester, the relationship aspect of advising is not something that can be taught or learned – it is something you continuously work on. I am also excited to see the different steps I have taken for professional development – I was able to attend the national NACADA conference, be a part of the NACE Career Coach Intensive, and do things outside of my 8-5 day (like writing for this blog, and connecting on Twitter).

Of course with areas of strength, comes areas for improvement and growth – for me this comes in different processes and forms that I have not seen routinely these past few months (working with dismissed students, various military academic forms, and students with mental health concerns). As I look forward to grow within my office, I am also looking forward to working on my goals for this upcoming quarter – attend our university’s advising conference and get connected (I hope to be a conference chair within the next 2 years), get better connected with NACADA and their published work (book reviews, article submission, and then work up to submitting a conference proposal).

As this semester comes to a close, reflect on these areas of the self-assessment – what have you done this semester? Top areas of growth, areas for improvement? What are your goals for next year? Feel free to share and comment below. Happy finals season!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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