The Strategic Guide to Shaping Your Student Affairs Career
This is a book for any student affairs professional who wants to strategically shape his or her career path―and will be particularly helpful for people in early or mid-career, or contemplating a career, in student affairs.
By engagingly offering us the fruits of the reflective and strategic approach she has used to shape her own career, and of the theoretical and practical approaches she has undertaken to map out the culture and dynamics of student affairs, and by gathering the voices of 25 professionals who offer the insights and advice derived from their own experiences, Sonja Ardoin has created a guide for everyone in student affairs who wants to be intentional in setting the course for their professional and personal development.
She begins by describing the changing and varied student populations who are the heart of this field, and outlines the typical organizational structures of student affairs, the range of functional areas, and how practice varies by size and type of institution. She highlights major trends, discusses the typical paths of entry to the profession, the expectations and realities of starting in a new position, the process of socialization, and the required skills and competencies.
She devotes the core of the book to the five key elements for developing a career strategy: Lifelong Learning, Extending Your Experiences, Planning for Professional Development, Networking/Connecting, and Self-Reflection, and provides advice on the job search, from application through interview. In doing so she ranges over choices to be made about formal qualifications, and describes activities – from volunteering and committee work to conference presentations, writing and teaching – that we can use to strategically develop the proficiencies to attain our goals.
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