What the Heck is HESAA, Anyway?

Picture, if you will, an English major in the last years of undergrad, constantly contemplating her future. She has tried everything, from theater, to secondary education, to philosophy, and while those subjects made excellent hobbies, they were just not sticking in terms of career options. One day, she and her Reading the Roaring Twenties professor are discussing graduate school, and the former explains that many universities are developing programs for student affairs professionals. Keep in mind that this fraught soon-to-be college grad has worked in admissions, a tutoring center, and residential life for several years, and loves nothing more than showing prospective students the ropes. So when she learns that she could bring her experiences to a Master’s degree program, she is delighted and eagerly begins the application process.

You may have guessed by now that this aforementioned student was me. I knew that my communication and analysis skills cultivated as an English major would prove to be versatile, but I had never thought to combine them my love for the intricacies of higher education. How did I discover the Warner HESAA program, you ask? Well, I am a Rochester native, and my dad actually did his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester, so studying here has always been a dream of mine. When I found out that the Warner programs are accredited, well-respected, and community-oriented, it immediately became my first choice of school. I contacted admissions (for whom I now work, so everything has come full circle), gathered up my writing samples and letters of recommendation, and scheduled meetings with our program director.  I am still in contact with a science teacher I had in middle school; he went through a Warner PhD program himself, so he gave me a fair amount of information about the school in general. He also told me to leverage my skills and apply for assistantships after I was accepted, one of which I was happy to attain!

If I could go back and give my English major self some advice, it would be to relax and understand that the job market in higher education is relatively vast, and growing every day. Now, as a first-year HESAA student, I have some idea of what I’d like to do after graduation, but I feel confident because I know I’ll be gaining experiences in various departments- admissions, career services, and beyond. I now have much to say if anyone ever asks me, “why Warner?”

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