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We’re all in this together, let’s make that change! Be the movement.: Tammy Hong

April 15, 2010

Words cannot express how grateful I am to have been a recipient of the Golden Key NASPA Annual Conference Scholarship. It was because of the scholarship, that I was able to attend both The Placement Exchange and NASPA 2010. I would definitely recommend first time job candidates to take Strengths Quest, and to attend TPE Elite Interview Training if they get a chance. Mark Pogue, the VP for Gallup helps you use Strength Quest to help you better tell your story. Matt Tranium and Amanda Williams were wonderful interview guides, and you have the opportunity to speak to a wide range of seasoned student affairs professionals. For me, it was my first time at The Placement Exchange, and it was a bit overwhelming at first. I was under the impression that it would be like OshKosh, where there are tables set up with dividers, or interview rooms, but I was wrong. Instead, there were groups of tables sectioned off, and rows and rows of interview tables. Interviewing was lots of fun, I enjoyed learning about the institutions that were there, and I was fortunate to have Angela Davenport and John Davenport from ISU as my “mom and dad” at the conference. Not to mention my ISU cohort was there, in addition to the many friends that I made during my stay there. In an interview, just be yourself. You know yourself the best, and you’ve got a wonderful story. Now all you have to do is to be able to articulate your story, and find out if that institution will be the right fit for you.

NASPA was amazing!! The opening ceremony was moving, if you’d like to relive it again, you can click on these links and relive it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtOJ3YQ4OjY, and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFf6dR1LlGI&feature=channel. It’s the story of our lives, our profession, the things we have overcome, and where we want to go. We are the hope, we are the change, and through our everyday interactions with students we will help them to grow and develop into the people that they were meant to be. Through volunteering, I was able to interact with many student affairs professionals, and even befriended a few.

Conference Connections was a really helpful session, I learned about NASPA’s values, important people in the field, and met some undergraduates and current student affairs professionals. I am so impressed by the camaraderie that is exhibited in student affairs, and the great amount of humility and humbleness that is shown. Mike Segawa talked about how student affairs people reunite once a year, and they embrace each other as if they had just met the other day. Diana Doyle gave the ABC’s of NASPA: Ask Questions, Become Engaged, and Challenge yourself to meet someone new every day.

I loved going to the sessions, learning about current trends in student affairs and what programs have been implemented at other institutions. One of the challenges I had was walking from building to building, and trying to make it on time to the different sessions scattered across Chicago. It was interesting, seeing a sea of professionals with their NASPA bags all gathered in Chicago. One of the wait staff in a restaurant had asked me about it, and I explained that it was our annual conference for student affairs administrators, or educators that came from all over the world to share their ideas, and to learn more about each other. Our profession has evolved greatly within the last 50 years, and I’m curious as to where we’ll move in the next 50 years. How will this coming generation turn out, how will they change the world? How will we make sure that they have all their needs met, and all the tools at their disposal to create change?

I am so glad that I am able to be a part of the movement, and to live the legacy from the student affairs practitioners that have walked before me. I’ll be a new professional once I graduate in May, and I can’t wait to join the ranks of the student affairs professionals before me. I hope to inspire students and to continue helping students, it’s something that I love, and I hope that you find that too. A job that you love, your niche, whatever it is that you are passionate about. Go for it! The sky is the limit.

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