MA in Higher Education Leadership
What do you hope to do with your degree and/or credential, and why?
I plan on working in student affairs at a four-year university. My co-curricular experience as an undergraduate shaped me personally and professionally, and I hope to cultivate that opportunity for future students. I am passionate about holistic emerging adult development and believe in empowerment and involvement.
When did you begin your program, and when do you anticipate completing it?
I began in fall 2014 and anticipate completing my degree in spring 2016.
How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?
I learned about SOLES at a graduate school fair during a NASPA conference. It was my top choice for so many reasons, but especially the international component, the ability to work on campus through a graduate assistant position, and the emphasis on leadership studies.
What is your background? For example, where are you from, where else have you earned a degree, and where have you worked?
I am from a town called Los Gatos, CA in the Bay Area. I moved down south to complete my BA in Communication Studies at Azusa Pacific University (APU). At APU, I was fortunate enough to be part of the orientation and transitions office for two years as an orientation leader and intern. I also had the chance to study abroad for a semester in South Africa and lead a summer international action trip to Peru.
Are you currently working? If so, do you work full-time or part-time, and what do you do?
I currently work part-time as a graduate assistant in the Center for Health and Wellness Promotion on campus. I have the opportunity to advise our student organization of peer health educators, and support the general health and wellness initiatives on campus. It is an amazing opportunity to put theory into practice.
Tell us about any internships, graduate assistantships, student teaching, practicum or fieldwork you have done through SOLES. Where did you work, what did you do, and how did it impact you?
I am also the communications director for the SOLES Graduate Student Council, and have the opportunity to plan educational and social events for the entire SOLES community. It has been a great experience for me to get to know more people in SOLES and I love the chance to focus on graduate student life.
Which class has impacted you the most? Why?
For those of us who are new to the field of student affairs, the higher education program provides a seminar where the first-year and second-year cohorts meet separately (and sometimes together) for the entire two year experience. We not only have the chance to process our experiences together, but also feel a deep sense of support in the group. It is a pleasure to learn from the experience of the faculty and staff and guest lecturers who contribute to the seminar.
What are your plans for after graduation? What is your dream job?
My dream job is to work with student leaders and dreamers at a four year university. I have a lot to learn before I begin the job search process, but I hope to ultimately be able to empower and equip students who will be change-makers and leave their own impact on the world. I currently plan to apply for jobs to work with students within the areas of residence life, orientation, or campus programming.
Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective students?
The grad school search can be exhausting, but it is so worthwhile. Don’t be afraid to reach out in anyway possible. Before I made my decision, I researched the website, attended an online information session, had an individual on-campus information meeting, on-campus tour, and attended interview day! The SOLES community is one that will most likely challenge you and help develop growth, but most importantly you will feel supported and empowered to spread influence in the world. Good luck!