My how time flies.

I haven’t written anything in months and I’m pretty sure it was my New Year’s Resolution to write at least once a week. We all see how that worked out.

Well this summer (Yes, I know it is November) was AMAZING. I went to China for 2 weeks and had an amazing time. And then I moved on down to Florida to complete my internship.

Me on great wall

me at Qingdao University

Welcome to St. Pete

My time in Florida was so amazing. I was working at a very small institution and they wanted me to get the most out of my time there. I worked with some awesome people who I hope I get to work with again one day. I learned so much about myself and my future professional self in the short 6 weeks that I was there. My last post was Summer of Growth and boy, was that true.

I can’t wait to see where my profession takes me and what I end up doing. I do know that with the support of my friends, family, and coworkers that I will never be alone and will always have a listening ear or someone to push me in the right direction.

I have officially started my job search and this is when I learn if I will sink or swim as a new professional in student affairs. I graduate in 172 days. That is not much time when you think about it. And on top of that I have 110 days until I present at my first professional conference, 127 days until The Placement Exchange, and 144 days until the test that determines my fate. But before then I have to make it to Thanksgiving. I know that I can do it.

I’ll try to write more, I promise.

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SHINE

SHINE

Today was awesome!!

The morning started way too early when I went to register to compete in the case study competition. My partner and I present first tomorrow. I’m excited but nervous. We were told it would be an intense roommate conflict. We have both been in housing a while so I think we will do great!

Today’s keynote speaker was awesome! Claudia Beeny PhD spoke to us about what makes us SHINE. In order for us to teach and lead others it is important for us to know what it is that makes us shine. I’m still trying to learn what makes me shine in this profession but what Dr. Benny shared with us today was great advice.

Here is a quick rundown of SHINE:
S- strengths
H- hobbies
I- interests and irritants
N- natural talents
E- experiences

After the keynote I spent my day attending different sessions put on by other professionals.

I went to a session about personal branding, a round table discussion for new professionals, a session on professionalism, and finally one on faculty in the residence halls.

Each session had its pros and cons but I’m glad I chose the ones I did. Most of the time I was away from my delegation so I was forced to talk to other people. In one session I made a contact with a graduate student who just got the pet policy changed on her campus, me and some other GAs are working on a proposal at our university and asked for her help. She said she would email me her research! Shoutout to Tsuki from UNT!!

After the sessions were over and prizes were given out I went to my state caucus meeting. I had no idea what to expect from this but I was glad I got to see that part of the conference. The Arkansas schools talked about what was going on with them and how SWACUHO could help. We talked about the numbers of employers going down at SPE and we talked about how in 2017 Arkansas will be hosting SWACUHO again.

I’m so proud to be part of a region that really cares what is going on at each individual school.

Every single day I am reminded that I am in the right place and I am in the right profession. I can’t wait until I graduate and get my first professional job so that I can give back like this region has given to me.

I’m that graduate student who is afraid to get involved because who knows where I will be working after I graduate. All I care about is that I get to work with students and be a part of something that is so much bigger than myself and my coworkers.

I am lucky enough to work for a department that wants me to grow professionally and sends me to SWACUHO. This year it is in Fort Worth and it’s been great so far.

Here is what went down today:

Since I’m a newcomer I went to the Newcomer’s reception and learned the basics of the conference. We met the exec board and the committee chairs. SWACUHO seems likes it has a great group of people working for them and that makes me excited to be a part of this region.

I signed up to be a program moderator and get to moderate the program I was most excited about, so that’s pretty cool. I’m an introvert so that whole networking thing really sucks for me but I think moderating will be a great way to help overcome that.

I went to learn about the case study competition and have decided to compete with a coworker. We finish each other’s… sandwiches so we are gonna kick butt. Did you get that reference? If not, you need to see Frozen. It’s the best movie EVER!!!

There was a cowboy on stilts and a lassoing cowboy and a gold cowboy statue that wasn’t really a statue. I kept forgetting I was in Texas and then someone would show up in a cowboy hat and remind me.

The opening gala was tonight. There was a macaroni and cheese bar, it was delicious.

The exhibitors’s booths opened tonight so I walked around and talked to some people who sell things to universities. Fun fact: there is a company in Fort Worth that cleans mattresses in a truck in 15 minutes. Yep. 15 minutes.

I’m really looking forward to Connecting in Cowtown even more tomorrow.

This is a VERY busy time of year for me and my co-workers and my cohort members. The second years are busy job hunting and us first years are looking for summer internships.

I applied for summer internships through ACUHO-I because I LOVE LOVE LOVE housing and really want to stick with it. I’ve been in Arkansas ALL of my life. I need to get out and try new things if I want to be marketable when I start job hunting next year.

So far I have had 2 interviews and I have 2 more set up for next week. I’m still waiting to hear back from a couple places as well, so like I said, I’ve been busy.

One of the things that makes the internship search so difficult is that I have very specific dates that I can work. Why you might ask? Because I AM GOING TO CHINA!! I paid my deposit last week so in May I will be boarding a plane and flying halfway around the world! How amazing is that?  I’m really really excited but also really really nervous. Because I AM GOING TO CHINA!

Well that is what is going on right now. I don’t think I’m going to have time to post again anytime soon because this weekend I will be at SPE interviewing candidates for next year’s cohort and then next weekend I will be going to Fort Worth to SWACUHO!

It’s a very busy month! But I will leave you with this…my birthday is in 19 days!