Intergenerational is defined as relating to, involving, or affecting several generations. This part of the book really caught my attention because it is so relevant in life right now. We have many generations that are currently working together and sometimes it feels as if we are working against each other. As a millennial (I’m not a normal millennial, I’m a cool millennial), I enjoyed that they discussed this idea that generations were living in such a “me, I” life but millennials are working towards a “we” culture. Being on a college campus, I can see this desire to change our world and make it better. Don’t get me wrong there are always people who work against that goal. The book really blew me away when it focused on this want to help our world but pointed out the weight that we also carry on top of that desire. When people hear millennials, they think of this negative view that has been placed with the generation. I am not trying to say that our generation is perfect and is always trying to progress forward because we definitely have had some set backs the past few years. On top of this push to help get our world back in shape, we carry burdens like student loans and cleaning up the mess from other generations whether they see it as a mess or not.
The students I have the pleasure to work with everyday show this drive by being positive leaders on campus. They have this craving to grow as individuals but this craving also transfers over to helping the students. Working with student government has shown this push to make changes on campus because they believe that students voice is important to hear. The student government works to make sure they hear what the students are saying and stand up for them. It is so amazing to watch them work together and make a difference on campus. I know that this inspiring push to make change
Peace and Love,
I really enjoyed this book because it is not only something that I can apply at work but also in my daily life. Leadership is not always about what you do. Leadership is about who you are and how you do what you do. The strategies and techniques are less important than the person you as a leader bring to the task of leadership. Reflecting back on my leadership experience, I can remember moments where I was in the box. As a leader, I know there have been times where I was frustrated in certain situations and it was easier to point fingers and blame others. Instead of trying to look for the problem, the book talks about viewing the struggles we face as an opportunity to observe our lives and how we live everyday. Failure in leadership is a result of self-deception. If we genuinely feel respect for people they will more open to me as a person.
The book spoke volumes to me when self-deception was discussed. We are all human so this idea of self-deception is just natural. As I was reading this book I was trying to identify a time when I was in the box. I realized that I did inflate the other person faults as well as inflate my own virtue. This led me to inflate the value of things that justify my self-betrayal and then blaming the other person. It is so easy to be in the moment and focus on yourself. We can easily justify why we didn’t pick up the trash because that is someone’s job to do that. In that moment, we are viewing that person merely as an object and not as a person. To get out of the box, we should do our best to help others achieve and be successful. In the book they write, “We can’t really achieve results like we otherwise could if we’re in the box. The question is how often we are “in the box” and how can we work to live “outside of the box”?
Each book that we read and reflect on is also discussed during our book club so that we can understand the take away from each other. I found myself pointing out “so that person would be in the box!” when in reality I was in the box based off of merely just that comment. As mentioned, we are all human and it is natural to have a biased view of problems but the challenge is working towards being outside of the box and remembering to view people as people and not as objects.
Peace and Love,
Throughout my undergrad, I had multiple opportunities to sit in on interviews for different professional positions on campus. After reading this book, I feel a little naive because I did not fully realize what went into selecting a university to work at. I have had quite a few friends apply for different jobs but not once did I ever have a conversation with them regarding the type of university or college it was. What I gathered from these soon to be Student Affairs professionals was that finding a job was extremely hard so they would take what they got. I find myself questioning that thought process and wanting to challenge myself by digging deeper into the schools history and what their mission and vision are.
After reading through the chapters, I would stray away from working at a Religiously Affiliated Institution. I attended a private school my whole life until I went to college, so the fact that this schools are religion based is not the main reason why I would not want to work at a religiously affiliated institution. Before reading this book, I had my personal reasons as to why I would not want to work at that type of institute, which includes but not limited to the lack of bureaucracy. A past advisor of mine had switched to a private university and ended up returning back to my alma mater because of the lack of control and rules. She specifically was working with their Greek Life and found the students had lack of respect for her role as an advisor. That was her personal experience but the book gives another great example of this lack of bureaucracy.
“…I have come from a public institution into a private institution. The public institution hat I came from was very highly bureaucratic, which was extreme. This one seeme to be at the opposite extreme because we are so decentralized and sometimes I think there has got to be balance in everything. So there is not a lot od red tape but that causes confusion sometimes because there are no rules.”
I think that if after I pursue my masters in Student Affairs and Higher Education I would be open to a couple options regarding the type of university I would work for. I think people don’t give Community Colleges enough recognition and the book does a good job of describing what they are: The Producers. I think that no only refers to their students but also the professional staff. I found it disappointing that those who work at Community College mentioned that there was a stereotype that they were viewed as second-class citizen education. Another comment was made that “… universities are in the limelight. It’s more prestigious to be at a university opposed to a community college.” What I found intriguing and interesting was that professionals from Community Colleges said they were very student service focused. I also liked the idea of working with a wide population. One professional said “I have two types of clients. One is the 18-22 year old, out of high school, needing a little help in making choice as far as their major and colleges nad professional areas. The other type is the 25-85 year old adult. They really need to know how to work or at least begin to develop some knowledge of working…” I think this type of college would be a unique experience and a challenge in itself because I wouldn’t be working with the normal student.
The Comprehensive Colleges and Universities are what really stood out to me. One reason being because they consider themselves to by a hybrid: they mix the traditional focus of liberal arts education with the research focus of a campus that offers graduate education. Professionals at comprehensive institutions serve specific functions but the nature of the campus enables them to work extensively in other functional areas thereby requiring them to view issues from a multitude of perspectives. One of the mission statements was described as general but what I found amazing was that the campus offers liberal arts and professional training; it serves day students, evening students, full-time students, part-time students, those from groups who have always pursued higher education and those from groups who have not. Comprehensive colleges and universities provide a solid liberal education at the undergraduate level and also offer advanced professional degrees. From a professional point of view, I appreciated the fact that there are these separate offices with specific focuses but that doesn’t hold professional staff back from getting involved and delving deeper in a different office. The opportunity to learn and network at the university is something I value.
Peace and Love,
There were many parts of this book that caught my attention and made me reflect on my past but also on the future. The first couple of pages in Beginning Your Journey took me back to my undergrad days, specifically my sophomore and junior year. I changed my major a total of four times before truly realizing what I want to do with my life. “New professionals are pleasantly surprised to find that the experiences they loved as undergraduates can be turned into a full-time job.” Once I got involved with different organizations, I had the opportunity to work with people who sparked an interest in Student Affairs. Watching current Student Affairs professionals showed me the passion and desire behind the jobs that they did. The struggle of students in college that was mentioned at the beginning of the book also stood out to me. I know that my college career had struggles but it was also a pivotal chapter in my life. If it wasn’t for the SA professionals who pushed me and guided me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. After my experience with these SA professionals, I realized that I wanted to work future college students to help them through their struggle, help them find their passion in life and be that guidance that I received that made my experience amazing.
The Assessment chapter really stood out to me when I was skimming through the book. In our world today, the SA isn’t always seen as important as academic part of college. Assessment is important for my many reasons; one being that it helps with the student’s growth. As we prepared for the SLC Retreat, I was struggling on how we would be able to see student grow through assessment. It is natural to watch students and understand where they started out and then explain how they have grown since the beginning. When the PAs worked on the assessment, I was hoping that it would actually give us some answers based on the growth at the student life center retreat. I hope the PAs can sit down soon to look through the pre and post. Assessment can also be used to help student leaders grow through allowing them to analyze assessment results. This skill allows them to help make decisions, which allows the student leader to gain a deeper meaning and purpose to what the organization and staff want to accomplish. The strategic plan part of the book stood out to me due to my newly acquired knowledge through the AS&F plan. I appreciate the time and effort that was also put into the ASU 2020 plan because it sets a great guideline for the faculty and staff on campus
Beginning your Journey: A Guide for New Professionals in Student Affairs tackles the current issues that faculty face as they enter the profession. It acts a s a great guide for students who are transitioning into the work force. The personal stories that were included made it easier to connect with the topic and apply it to my everyday life.
Peace and Love,