You must be joking, a month has gone by?
Literally, an entire 30 days have passed since I last posted on this here blog. Today I have decided to revisit on account of my needing to become savvy in the blogosphere to improve “College 2.0” for the OAA. I’ve flitted around between tumblr, blogspot, and wordpress, and am trying to decide which on will be the best medium for the (hopefully) cool new OAA blog, designed to give students important academic information without boring them. Ideally, it will one-day become a student run operation with OAA staff as the supervisors, so that students can take ownership of their academic success and drive the content and overall vibe of the blog.
In other news, I have officially been oriented as a Fellow. On Friday, MBW gathered all the Fellows to hear from Senior Administrators, PDC managers, HR representatives, Mentor directors, and former Fellows with the goal of absorbing as much information as possible. I have to admit, it was an encouraging and inspiring day, and it came at the right time. I was feeling a little down, mostly because work has been slow in the summer but also partly because I’ve been overwhelmed by all the unknowns of this job. At Orientation, I was reminded that this job will be exactly what I make of it, and I need to take matters into my own hands if I want this to be a meaningful experience. The former Fellows had great insight on how to approach common concerns. Here is the highlights reel:
“Let your student perspective inform your staff perspective, not the other way around.”
“Faculty members admire students, but do not feel admired by students.” – [think of ways to change this with Teaching Tab]
“You will go through an internal transition (how you feel) and an external transition (how you’re seen). The latter requires that you earn respect and prove your worth.”
“Ask to join your mentor on a trip. Draw up a budget, show how it will enhance you professionally.”
“Don’t hesitate to meet with people who interest you. Respectfully say, ‘I’ve noticed you’re good at XYZ/accomplished in XYZ, can you help/teach me?'”
“The title of ‘Fellow’ carries a connotation of prestige, privilege, and extraordinary access. Take advantage of it.”
“Don’t wait for an assignment. Think of what you would like to have seen as a student and IMPLEMENT!”
“You will be most successful when you admit that you don’t know what’s going on.”
“If you’re trailblazing a position, think ‘What can I do to benefit this office?’ and ask around to see what needs to be done, then spearhead an initiative.”
“What intrigues YOU? Now how can you match that to your job description?”
“To help you adjust from task to project centric work, create deadlines for yourself by setting up meetings with people as a means of accountability.”
“Refer to HR’s job evaluation sheets to help create an outline from your job description and a performance plan. Feel free to ask mentor what certain things mean.”
“Keep a journal of everything that stands out to you, good or bad. Read at the end of the year to help you glean specifics for a resume, and to uncover themes for career path.”
That last one is precisely why I have created this blog. I can’t wait for the day that I get to sit on the other side of the table and share this wisdom with next year’s Fellows. By then I hope that I will have lots of accomplishments to show for a year of employment!