On Friday, I went to my first Student Affairs conference! It was held at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and luckily I was able to attend with a few of my former coworkers from New Student Orientation. The day started with a career expo where current students in their Higher Ed program had booths set up and gave out information on the different offices SA professionals hold within a university.
Afterward there was a lunch with a keynote speaker, Dr. Cherry Callahan, that was really amazing. Dr. Callahan was an engaging speaker and hearing about her life, lessons, and what she has accomplished in her over 30 years in Student Affairs was very inspiring. Also a bit intimidating. While I am glad that I attended the conference, hearing from all of these professionals and other students that were there made this process a bit more real. Actually meeting faculty and talking to current students has made what I am embarking on more tangible.
There were three breakout sessions and I really enjoyed all of them. I learned about Student Affairs jargon, a little Student Development Theory, and received some tips on developing your personal brand. I appreciated that conference was not very heavily focused on the program at UNCG. It was all very balanced and as undergrads I believe we need that space to figure out what we want. There were also presenters from different schools in the area, both public and private institutions.
In a few days I’ll go back and look at notes that I took to make sure I don’t forget anything and start sending out emails to people I meet and received their business cards. I stand by my earlier claim that applying to grad school is like taking another 3 credit course that takes just as much studying.
Until next time,