One of the most memorable moments I’ve had as an #SAGrad so far is writing my personal and professional development plan for my future as an #SAPro. Here’s the assignment as follows:
Students will develop and submit a personal/professional career development plan. In this paper, discuss your professional goals including what type of positions you expect to have, how long do you hope to stay in each position, in what type of institution (size, location, type) do you hope to work? What are your personal and professional development experiences you hope to gain to support your career development plan? Avoid simply listing the information, discuss your rationale and motivation behind your responses. Examine the Chronicle of Higher education or other sources for jobs in higher education that might interest you. Submit a copy of an ad for a job that is of interest to you along with a cover letter and current resume as if you were applying for that job.
I had a problem at first, because I was (and still am) torn between so many different paths such as Residential Life, Student Activities, Mental Health/Health Education and Career Counseling. I told my professor that I really wasn’t sure as to what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I wanted to work at an AICAD serving institution or any other art school. I did however tell her I was interested in the Creative Arts Therapy Masters Degree because I did want to incorporate my love of art as well as my love of educating and assisting people.
Like the worrywart I am, I was worried about the assignment being too long or too much like a narrative. She gave me a smile and said that it’s fine that it seems like a narrative, as long as it had to deal with my personal growth as a student affairs professional.
What my professor made us understand through this assignment is that even though you’re not sure about what you want to do outright in the future, it’s still good to plan ahead. You’ll never know what the future holds. Here’s what my first paragraph looks like:
When asked about my personal and professional development, I get a bit overwhelmed. There are many opportunities in the realm of student affairs that I would indeed like to explore or delve deeper as both a graduate student and a new student affairs professional. Some of the areas that I would like to explore are New and Transfer Student Orientation, Admissions, Institutional Research and Public Relations and Health Counseling or Education. The areas that I would like to reexamine as well as delve deeper into are Student Activities/Student Engagement or Involvement, Career and Residence Life/Residential Programs. If I were to narrow down my choices to the top three to start in my Student Affairs Professional career, I would choose either Residential Life, Health Counseling/Education, or Student Activities/Student Engagement or Involvement. Through my experience at my undergraduate institution, SUNY College at Old Westbury, these three positions have impacted and shaped my own path to become a part of the Higher Education and Student Affairs realm. I know that eventually, I would like to become a Dean of Students.
Although the future does seem forever away, it still doesn’t hurt to plan ahead. If you don’t get to do some of those plans that you had down before, it’s the end goal that matters the most.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Patrick Love on Strategic Planning in SA