Thesis Writing Thoughts: Reflecting on My Final Semester at Warner

Hi, prospective and current students!

It’s been a little while since my last post; I apologize for the delay! I’ve entered my last semester as a master’s student in the Higher Education Student Affairs program, and it has been a whirlwind so far! Between my position here as a graduate assistant, working as a graduate resident advisor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and writing my thesis, I am busier than ever, but I prefer that kind of lifestyle! It has been important for me, as well as for the rest of my “fauxhort” members, to find a sense of work/life balance amidst what can often be chaos, and I think we’ve done a great job of that so far.

My semester is at the halfway point, so I wanted to take a break from thesis revising (and re-revising…) to update you on where I am professionally, and how Warner has allowed me to get to that point:

  1. I’ve been applying to and interviewing for full-time positions! I have been lucky enough to have been afforded work opportunities in a variety of higher education settings, and thanks to my assistantships (both past and present), my levels of confidence and comfort when meeting with prospective employers have risen immensely. Warner’s emphasis on experiential learning and theory-to-practice models have helped my candidacy for jobs in residence life, career services, admissions, etc., and I feel as though I’m equipped with the tools to handle tough situations. Classes like Retention Theory and Student Development Theory exposed me to the diverse behaviors that my future students might display, and how to face those with conviction.
  2. I’ve been attending conferences to further my professional development. One of the best things about working in higher education is that many departments create an environment focused on lifelong learning. My supervisors have informed me about upcoming local conferences that would be beneficial to my career and academic development, and have often sponsored my attendance. For instance, I recently attended the Young Professionals in Higher Education Conference, and learned about networking and leveraging my skills.
  3. I’ve been writing up a storm! My thesis seminar is full of some of the most hardworking and driven individuals I’ve ever met. We’ve managed to produce our first drafts on a multitude of subjects ranging from financial aid, to privilege, to parent and family relations, to higher education law, and are now in the peer review stage. With the help of our seasoned and well-versed advisors, we are becoming experts on topics that may have begun as simply inquiries.
  4. I’ve been helping others develop professionally as well. I supervise a team of undergraduate RAs, and have dedicated this semester to not merely helping them host events for their residents, but also making sure that they feel prepared to enter their respective work forces. Most of them have known each other for quite some time, but I think the reason we’re so close-knit is because I emphasize that we can’t be an effective staff unless we understand one another. I’ve gauged the perspectives of my Warner professors and supervisors, and they’ve given me tools and examples of activities that have allowed my staff members to better grasp our individual work styles.

Overall, Warner has been consistently helpful in allowing me to grow both as a student and as an emerging professional. I’m excited to see where this journey takes me as we continue on in the semester! As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you might have about upcoming events or programs at Warner at warnergrad@gmail.com. Meliora! 

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