Job One: Managing Transitions as New Professionals in Student Affairs ACPA 2014 #ACPA14
Presenters Jill Carnaghi, Associate Vice Chancellor, Washington University in St. Louis Kathleen Gardner, Associate Director, SIU Edwardsville, @upnorthkathleen Peter Magolda, Professor, Miami University, @pmesm Carrie Miller, Doctoral Student, University of California, Los Angeles Katie Shoemaker, First Year Adviser, Miami University #ACPA14
Agenda Introductions Impetus for this Session What? New professionals theoretical primer Stories from new professionals Responses from “supporters” of new professionals So What? Small group discussions Large group synthesis Now What? Implications for practice Closing #ACPA14
Shamika Sometimes it’s hard to stay true to myself because I’m pressured by those around me to change or fit in, but by standing my ground in the midst of the pressure has benefitted me greatly. When I am free to truly be who I am in a work environment, I know I have found a fit #ACPA14
Molly P. It quickly became evident that department staff members were overworked, and the director had many responsibilities on her plate beyond our department initiatives. We worked additional hours because we cared about supporting one another and most importantly supporting students…..Although I had freedom, I was lacking an effective supervisor who was able to give guidance and feedback on the work I was doing. I valued our friendship and relationship but knew I would need more to be a better professional in the future. #ACPA14
Kim The support of my coworkers and my willingness to accept their support was key in making this transition. Not many are fortunate enough to have such caring colleagues on their side when starting a new life. #ACPA14
Sarah As a Student Affairs professional who works with people involved in career decision-making processes, I have come to understand we all hold various ideas or myths around career that we inherit from our family members, friends, mentors, and colleagues; our professional fields and industries; our cultural identities and groups; and our society. I intentionally use the word “myth” for the messages we hold around careers because, they can be so strong that they blind us to see other possibilities, or they force us to exclude other possibilities. #ACPA14
Carrie “I did not know how to approach my supervisor to continue to develop as a professional and hone my skills. Reflecting on my interactions with my supervisor, I realized that I, too often, repeated the same experiment and hoped for different results. I would ask a series of questions, read about an idea, write and submit a proposal, each time being careful to include all of the components of program and proposal development I had learned in graduate school. Rarely did this strategy yield a successful outcome...I did not want to abandon opportunities to integrate theory and research with my everyday work responsibilities, but I knew had to change my approach.” #ACPA14
New Professionals in the room: Tell us YOUR story… The job search process Reflections on graduate school experience Early days as a new professional Establishing professional identity Supervision Diversity and identity #ACPA14
Questions for New Professionals What is your comfort level with risk-taking when seeking employment? What are some career myths that you might hold about working in student affairs? As a new professional, what constitutes meaningful development for you? What are some strategies for thriving within the context of an imperfect work environment? #ACPA14
Salient Issue #1 The Importance of Relationships “My relationship with my partner Josh made me feel centered and comfortable with myself. The relationships that I forged during graduate school and during my on-campus interview process gave me the support needed to succeed in a not so ideal work environment” -Molly #ACPA14
Salient Issue #2 The Importance of Fit I admit there is risk in every decision we make, but I was unwilling to risk my authenticity and integrity. …I was being called to a little, Buddhist-inspired institution that was doing great and wonderful things. I had discovered my mission fit. I could no longer deny that my professional and spiritual curiosity as well as my intuition and passions were the true compasses I must follow, so I stepped into the unknown, accepted my new role as the Career Services Coordinator at Naropa University, and headed west. -Sarah #ACPA14
Salient Issue #3 The Importance of Competence and Confidence I espoused the idea of tending to the needs of the whole student, yet I continued to treat aspects of my life as discrete and mutually exclusive entities. How do I de-compartmentalize my life? How can I understand students if I can’t understand myself?… This [job one] experience, combined with my college and graduate school experiences, have made me a more holistic person, one who feels comfortable with the various dimensions of his identity, sharing those areas, and encouraging that development in others. –David #ACPA14
Salient Issue #4 Generational Differences A key part of my success in my first professional Student Affairs job was having a great supervisor and supporting team of co-workers. My supervisor …recognized I was new to the field but valued my past experiences and perspectives. He regularly treated me as if I knew what I was doing; he allowed me the time and space to learn the position, the job responsibilities, and the culture of the institution. …We processed my strengths and strategized on ways I could improve my areas of opportunity. …The foundation of our relationship was on honesty. It was always important to receive growth- focused feedback, even if it was a message I did not want to hear. -DeJaun #ACPA14
Salient Issue #5 Accepting and Learning from Imperfections Despite the frustration of being so focused on administration and office management, there were many things I came to love about my work—mostly relationships with colleagues and supervisees. I was quickly getting to know other academic advisors on campus and developing a sense of collaboration. I was amongst a group of dedicated professionals who cared deeply about students. I valued being in a professional community that shared in my commitment to student growth and learning. -Molly #ACPA14
So What? The "so what" is the reflection…What do we think or feel as a result of examining the situation?
Small Group Conversation Break into 4 groups based on interest 1: Transition issues facing new professionals 2: Issues of “fit” facing new professionals 3: Identity issues facing new professionals 4: Supervision issues facing new professionals Explore Assumptions/expectations/norms Strategies for new professionals Strategies for preparation programs Strategies for supervisors #ACPA14
Now What? The "now what" leads us back to action…This is where we commit to some kind of action, however small or large.
Closing Please write down Three take-aways from our time together today Two questions you have after this presentation One thing you are committed to doing as a result of what you learned/experienced here today #ACPA14
We are looking for volunteers to take a stand and publicly share one thing you are committed to doing as a result of what you learned/experienced here today.
Thank you! Jill Carnaghi firstname.lastname@example.org Kathleen Gardner email@example.com Peter Magolda firstname.lastname@example.org Carrie Miller Carrie.email@example.com Katie Shoemaker firstname.lastname@example.org #ACPA14