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Counting it down, soaking it in: Jodi Ceroky

February 22, 2010

School resumed two months ago, and as I weigh my graduate school options and finalize my spring schedule, the reality of my impending graduation this May has slowly begun to sink in.  It is a little unnerving how underprepared I have begun to feel about entering the “real world” after years of careful preparation and hard work.  Because of this, I am grateful to be attending the NASPA Annual Conference in Chicago in March and am eager to take advantage of all the opportunities made available to me throughout the week.

My overall goal is to absorb everything and come home with a better sense of who I am as a student of the field and how I want to develop myself as a professional.  I want to learn exactly what the NASPA “legacy” is and what being apart of a student affairs “movement” looks like.  By volunteering at the Placement Exchange, I will have the opportunity to observe the elaborate process of finding a career and standing out in a national pool of candidates.  The NUFP Pre-Conference and SALT Conference will give me the opportunity to meet other Fellows from across the country and hear about their experiences in student affairs.   From my experience at UB I have learned the value of networking with other young student affairs professionals who are passionate about the field and am really looking forward to this event.  After reviewing the educational sessions that are offered, I have selected sessions that would help me gain a better understanding of multicultural advocacy in student affairs, sessions on civic engagement, a session on mentoring, and a session on graduate school and professional development.  I hope that attending these sessions will help me further develop my personal and career goals by gaining exposure to professionals from other schools and hearing about their research and experiences in multiculturalism, leadership centers, and structured mentoring programs.  I am also excited to attend the NASPA Annual Business meeting and the dinner with the NASPA staff and learn more about the inner-workings of the organization so I can continue being involved when I graduate this year.  My mentor has encouraged me to spend as much time as possible volunteering and I intend on filling in the rest of the conference schedule with volunteer hours to meet people and learn how a conference of this capacity is coordinated and carried out.  I have volunteered at much smaller events and am excited to learn from and meet other students and professionals who are apart of this incredible event.

With graduation inching closer each day, I am grateful for the opportunity to spend my last spring break as an undergraduate at a professional conference acquiring valuable skills and experiences that will help me in my studies and professional development.  It is easy to get caught up in exams and papers but my experience in student affairs, especially through the NUFP program, has kept me grounded and excited about who I am becoming and how it relates to everything I have learned in the classroom thus far.   Attending the Annual Conference will be a perfect capstone to my undergraduate experience and a starting point for my career in the field of student affairs.

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