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Interested in a Career in Student Affairs? Check this out! With some fantastic mentors throughout my college experience who have always urged me to "pay it forward," I've decided to reflect on my transition into graduate school and beyond, and hopefully in doing so put together some experiences, resources, and areas to consider for students considering the field. What I've found most helpful is reflection and evaluation of why I'm interested in Student Affairs, what I'm looking for, and where I'm going! Hopefully the discussions and resources here will help trigger you to investigate some of your answers to these questions, or at least open up the door for the dialogue while being a space for me to talk about what my experiences were like!

I’m moving out!

Aug.13.2012

Hey everyone!

First, I’d like to thank you for reading my blog for as long as you have– it is truly a pleasure to be able to share my experiences, insight, and perspective with you!  That being said, I’ve noticed a number of subscriptions to this site.  The only trouble is, I’ve moved to a permanent location in brianfleduc.com!

But guess what? I’ve just added a sweet new subscribe feature in the top right-hand corner of the site.  So head on over (and while you’re at it, check out my newest post, ‘What do YOU lead?’

 

New year, new blog URL!

Jan.23.2011

Thanks for checking out my blog!  I’ve been working over the past months to move all of my old content (and adding new) to my shiny new blog at www.brianfleduc.com. That’s where you’ll find my latest content, and the latest reflections of my experiences. Again, thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll check out the new site!

Developing Development

Oct.16.2010

This week I had perhaps one of the greatest moments of conscious personal growth then I have experienced in quite some time.  Even more ironically, it had occurred weeks before on a cognitive level; but the ‘ah-ha feeling’ of development hit me like a rush that made me realize how much I have missed it.

The past few months I have been challenged by the formation and early development of a staff, understanding campus and department culture, keeping up with reading and discussions within the classroom, and maintaining (truthfully, developing) a social and ‘personal’ life in a new place.  But these areas haven’t been the hardest part of my transition.

When I got started in my graduate experience, I felt ‘stuck’ almost immediately.  All of a sudden I was making professional decisions, second guessing how they fit within my professional life and my personal values, and wondering ‘what the process’ should be exploring these ideas.  I quietly became impatient and frustrated with how I could be expected to create such standards with so little information.  Looking back, it just came down to being overwhelmed, and hyper-aware of the intentionality in my decisions, and intending to make sure that I didn’t overstep boundaries or set up trends that would effect me negatively later in my experience.

Click here to read more!

If you like what I have to say, follow me on Twitter!

Words to Live By…

Oct.5.2010

When you think of #SAchat, what do you think of? Friends? Colleagues? An instant system of support? A community that understands and relates to the frustration, challenges, inspiration, and success that you encounter in the smallest contributions of students, or in navigating the process of adjusting your career path?

Exactly. Reflecting on #SAchat’s impact on me as a student leader transitioning into a graduate student and developing myself as a new professional, it’s difficult to think about what I did without it. The encouragement, support, and relationships that I have started and continue to develop through this community are truly amazing.

I’ve received advice & support about my transition into the field, resources from professionals for presentations, opportunities to blog about my experiences and connections with amazing people. I’ve discovered students like myself interested (or pursuing) careers in student affairs, and developed a continuous conversation and network of role models. I’ve found a window to the profession and all the resources it has to offer, along with the inspiration to pursue communities that share common interests and values as my own.

Like so many others, in my ignorance and hesitancy to create an account, I hated Twitter. Now, a true #SAchat junkie, I find myself looking at the transcripts, blogs, resources, and presentations that make this community so vibrant.

There is something so significant in any tool that provides support, discourse and topics that challenge you to progress as a person. I think as a community of Student Affairs professionals, there is a collective agreement regarding that pursuit; for many of us, it is the motivation for our interest and passion for the field.

As a community, #SAchat has provided me the opportunity to think critically about who I am, who I hope to develop into, and the discrepancies involved in that process. It is the mirror that I hold to myself in measuring growth as a professional. Perhaps even more significant, it allows for that growth to happen at my own pace, and from my own perspective and voice; all while the community continues to develop its roots and provide feedback or encouragement (or both).

I know that without so many of you, I would not have discovered as much about who I am becoming as a professional (or what I want to be), what is important to me (and how to make sure it stays that way), or how to navigate my personal journey of growth (in what questions to ask). Worse, I would have fewer fantastic phone calls, e-mails, faxes, candy, and motivation.

Thank you Debra and Tom for the ‘seed’ as you so humbly call it, that continues to feed my passion for this field and reinforce its significance to me everyday.

Happy One Year Anniversary, #SAchat. Tweet on.

The Digital Cohort

Sep.13.2010

With the drastic expansion of the #SAchat community over the last several months, many professionals have found value in specific conversations targeted towards their functional area. In doing so, they create new communities, new support systems, and allow for more refined conversations about topics at the core of their daily work. In watching these communities grow, and finding value in many of them myself and I approached grad school, I was intrigued about passing comments about the creation of undergraduate chats related to student affairs. While many of these comments were just that, as I watched the daily tweets of my fellow bright-eyed and bushy-tailed first years enter their first classrooms and crack open Komives, Evans, and the like for the first time, I wondered if this group might find value or community in a specialized group as so many professionals representing all segments of the their Division had created.

So the request went out, and thankfully folks like @DebTaub were quick to support it; and as eager as I was to explore its potential. Turns out there is a growing network of graduate students discovering not only the value of Twitter and #SAchat as an opportunity for professional development, but as a support system. Looking over what we have generated thus far in conversation over the new #SAgrad hashtag as well a GoogleDoc for brainstorming, it’s clear that beyond transitioning from their undergraduate experience, students in Student Affairs graduate programs are confronting a wide variety of questions and challenges to prepare them for the field.

The concept is simple. If you’re a grad student in a Student Affairs Master’s program (or invested in helping them develop), check out the chats and conversation on Twitter. And if you’re new, search for #SAGrad and put it on the end of your tweets. We’re building a digital cohort across the US to learn, reflect, challenge, and discuss with. It’s hard to say where we’ll end up, but I’m willing (and excited) to find out!

For a quick start, follow my list of grad students in student affairs!

If you like what I have to say, follow me on Twitter!

A Tourist Among Architects

Aug.28.2010

More than once over the last few weeks I have found myself thinking ‘I have a lot to learn.’  It’s easy to shake this notion off with the assurance of being in a new place, learning a new culture, defining my professional style and attitude (all in building my professional reputation), but it feels a like turning a hobby into a career.  Truthfully, the only analogy to this undertaking of competencies and mastery is the transition from a Tourist to an Architect.

Tourists can tell you the facts; they can tell you where the building is located, they know how to get there, and maybe they can even tell you when it was built, who it was funded by, and the defining moments in it’s history.

But architects tell you what it’s built out of, the philosophy behind the floor plan, what the inspiration for the building was, and the references to the past at play in the design.

As I ‘acclimate’ to a new campus, position, and new professionals, I realize that my time as an undergrad prepared me as a great ‘tourist.’ I know my way around some of the basics, and I may even be able to talk a little bit about the experiences I have through ‘pictures,’ I’m realizing the depth of my ignorance.  Thankfully, I’m surrounded by ‘Architects’ ready and willing to patiently describe the importance of the frameworks behind the walls as I get distracted by the pictures on them.

It’s exciting.  I’m ready. I’m so ready.

If you like what I have to say, follow me on Twitter!

Flexibility, not Bodybuilding: Impressions of a ‘Big State’ Experience

Aug.19.2010

I’ve roadtripped across the country with no A/C, visited my family, moved into my home for the next year, been trained on everything from bedbugs and mold to fire panels and emergencey protocol matrices, moved in a staff of 4 men and helped to prepare them and my building of nearly 300 for the arrival of thousands of students, families, and staff members for move-in; worn out, overwhelmed, and oddly engrained with a feeling of hesistant confidence.

More importantly, I’m beginning to look around an office that was musty and foreign, and making it my own. I’m looking at staff members whose names I initially struggled with, and calling them friends. I’m training students who months ago and only a few hundred miles away, I would have called peers, and entrusted with their supervision and guidance.

Click here to read more!

If you like what I have to say, follow me on Twitter!

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