Current Position and Institution:
Director of International Advisement, The Juilliard School
First Position and Institution:
Designated School Official, The English Language Institute at Texas A&M
My first position was not planned at all. I graduated with a degree in English and needed to stay in the small college town for at least another year while my husband finished up his second degree. While searching for a job, I stopped by the English Language Institute at Texas A&M and asked if they had any teaching positions available. They only hired instructors who had at least a master’s degree, so I wasn’t a viable candidate, but two weeks later, I got a phone call from them asking if I would be interested in an administrative position.
It was a small office and my job duties varied quite a bit. This was a great opportunity to wear a lot of different hats and really grow as a professional. It really gave me insight into what types of positions I’d be interested in and what paths I wanted to focus on. In that position, I was able to teach, do budgeting, work on marketing, recruitment, event planning, leadership development, and so much more. I didn’t love it all. But I learned something from each opportunity and it gave me insight into my passions.
Fast forward ten years and I’m still able to see tangible ways that my first job impacts the way I approach my job now. My philosophy towards student affairs and student development was influenced a lot by my higher ed courses, but the foundation was really built early on in that first job. My advice to any new professional would be to work hard at learning your job, of course, but also be open to other opportunities that come up. The “other duties as assigned” is your chance to really grow as a professional and figure out what type of career you want to have and how you want to best influence your students.
The #SATBT series asks higher education and student affairs professionals to share a picture and reflect on a memory and/or one of the most important lessons the learned from their first job in the field.
Consider contributing your story for potential inclusion in the book version…