My ACUHO-I internship experience at Pace University- NYC has been nothing short of amazing. My time here has been just what I needed before I start my second and final year of grad school. I was able to meet a ton of awesome people, visit other campuses around NYC, and most importantly have time to myself to do the things I wanted to do in the concrete jungle. I encourage any future SA pro to obtain an internship of some type if you have the time to do so and have not already completed one.
At Pace, the entire housing department was really on board to intentionally provide myself and the other six interns with the experiences we wanted. They organized an intern social with other campuses in the surrounding area, planned outings in NYC for us with the professional staff, put us in contact with numerous SA professionals, and helped tremendously with the job search process that many of us will soon be going through. One of my favorite parts of the internship was that they genuinely cared about us personally. They took us in as if we were their own and treated us how they would a full time professional. I know that even after leaving next week I will always be able to turn to my Pace family.
As a result of Pace being invested in as much of our personal lives that we wished to disclose to them, I’ve had many conversations with my supervisor here about my first year in grad school. The conversations were always helpful and led me to think about a few things that will help me through my assistantship and last year of grad school:
1- Keeping a positive attitude
Positivity is one of my top five strengths, but in a situation where I’m not happy it may be hard for me to uphold that positive attitude in the moment. My graduate school experience isn’t exactly what I imagined it would be and that’s okay. Knowing that a bright future is ahead of me keeps me going.
2- Communication is key
The people around you won’t know what you need if you don’t say anything. You need to be as upfront as you can to ensure you are getting what you need. If you’ve said something and still have no results, you may need to follow up on your conversations. If for some reason there still are no results you may need to make it happen yourself if the opportunity is there to do so. Also, in some moments when you say nothing it can be taken as a weakness. Pick and choose your words/battles wisely.
3- The job search process
I feel very confident and excited since the job search is approaching. The professionals here have been very informative and happy to share their experiences with us, as most are. SA professionals could talk about the job search FOREVER. The biggest thing I’ve gotten out of all conversations is that this is your journey; you decide what you truly want. Yes, input from mentors and other respected individuals can be helpful but at the end of the day you are the one that will be in that office working, not them.
4- Finding hobbies outside of work
This summer I’ve started reading books more frequently than I have in a while. I also go to the gym regularly and plan to look into some classes to take with my friend who is not in Student Affairs. Lastly, I’ve tested blogging this summer and would like to become more consistent with it. Taking time to do things I enjoy is important to me and we all have the time to do so. It just is a matter of will you make the time.
5- Do what makes you happy
This is your life and you should live it the way you’d like to. Happiness cannot be given to you by other people all the time. It should come from inside you first. If you’re happy it leads you to a healthy, positive, and more enjoyable life.
I’m eternally grateful for my time at Pace and definitely am sad to be leaving. It was a great summer professionally and personally with great people.