Finding Internal Growth

Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.

- Napoleon Hill

 

The futuristic goals I set for myself have changed throughout the years. After completing a few higher education courses, I realized how much our educational system frustrates me. I developed a new drive to work with young adult students to help promote success during their undergraduate years and after graduation. During my time as an undergraduate, I remember struggling on determining what I wanted to pursue in life. Once I finally narrowed my thoughts, I didn't know how to find a path that best suited me. Universities have many options for their students, but sometimes too many options can lead to overwhelming decisions. I found even though there were many levels of “help” available to me, not everyone was helpful or even cared about me individually. I’m tired of hearing of young adults struggling with having no one to turn to for effective guidance. Generalizing each student's’ “problems” does nothing for the student nor university. Upon completing my master's of education, I have decided my future steps will aid in my efforts in becoming an academic advisor for collegiate students.

As I have determined from my passions in life, my goal is to help people but more specifically athletes. Student-athletes have an enormous amount of pressure on them, from their sport expectations to maintaining a specific grade point average, and preparing for life after graduation. Creating effective plans for student-athletes will allow them to appropriately space out practice, rehabilitation, classes, studying, and even providing downtime. Resting the body and mind can aid in an athletes overall health and well-being. Being a former student athlete, I saw the daily stresses student-athletes faced and saw many staff members, either academically or within their sport, not care about their well-being. Each athlete is expected to trudge along without their superiors determining if their schedule, expectations, or goals need adjustment. My goal is to work individually with each athlete to ensure they are given all the tools necessary to accomplishing their aspirations during college and after they graduate.

To better assist myself in accomplishing this goal, there are three areas I want/need to explore to make myself a better educator and employee. The first area to improve would be my organizational skills. I am a dysfunctional, organized person. For example, my desk is always a mess but I can tell you where everything is and I’m on time with my deadlines. I also need a better system to keep track of my commitments other than a line of sticky notes on my desk. This type of process works for me but I think some professionals think ill of me when they walk by my desk. As an employee of Michigan State University (MSU), they provide courses in many areas to improve employees’ skill sets. MSU’s courses are broken down into different categories such as leadership, personal, and more forms of development. A specific class that will assist in my organizational skills is their Crucial Accountability* course. The goal of this course is to advance my time management skills, organizational effectiveness, and increase my personal accountability.

Within the past five years working in the customer service world, I have continued to improve my communication skills, but there is always room to grow. MSU also offers a course called Crucial Conversations*. The nature of this course is to promote open and honest dialogue in all levels of communication, while focusing on high-stakes, emotional, or risky topics. Working with athletes means also working with coaches. Learning how to tell a coach a key player is ineligible will be difficult and I want to increase my confidence in dialogs. My goal is to learn how to advise verses tell an individual how to accomplish their goal. I want to learn how to make advising a two way conversation. Strong communication skills ensures I will be able to discuss a range of topics with athletes and athletic staff.

Working within the educational system is where I want to be in the future. In order to continue my growth in working in our academic world, I will pursue networking with other academic professionals. Attending higher educational conferences and seminars will give me the opportunity to connect with more experienced educators and learn how I can positively impact America’s young adult learners. MSU hosts or provides access to educational conferences or seminars. My main interest is working with student athletes, but once I begin to make connections and continue to work in the academic field, my goals may change, however, as long as I continue to aim towards helping collegiate students I will be happy with my direction.

 

* The links provided above are to the main page of employee performance advancements. There are not direct links to the seminars as they change every so often. The main page displays the current opportunities for employees.