Summers Off?

Many people ask me if I have my summers off. I think because I work in education, they imagine that I enjoy summers at the lake, sending my daughter to tennis camp and walking my dog to Minnehaha Falls to take in the sights and sounds of the season. Now keep in mind I do spend time at the lake (on weekends), playing with my daughter (in our backyard) and walking my dog (after work), but I also enjoy my summers at UST meeting new students, reconnecting with alumni and planning another year of amazing student life activities. And, I love it.

I’ve been working in student services for more than 20 years and every day brings new excitement. For example, the advisers in the Full-time UST MBA program meet individually with every incoming student over the summer. We walk them through the program and provide a glimpse of what their next two years will look like from an academic and co-curricular standpoint. They get one-on-one time with staff to ask questions and learn more about UST. And during these meetings I’ve met some amazing people; a new dad, a college football fan, a professional athlete and so many others. Meeting new people never gets old.

And, keeping in touch with alumni is also rewarding. Yesterday I connected with a recent MBA grad who shared a video of his son jumping rope. And yes, I took the time to watch it. I keep in touch as best I can with former students and social media sites such as Facebook--and LinkedIn has really helped. Just because a student graduates, doesn’t mean that I’m done with them. Student services continue way beyond the cap and gown.

And even though I’ve done this job for more than two decades, it doesn’t mean I do the same thing every year. I continue to seek out new activities to enhance the student experience and keep it relevant. I talked with staff from the Brave New Workshop today to investigate an activity for our MBA students this fall and anticipate it to be a highly entertaining and enlightening experience. I’ve also talked with student club leaders planning their activities for next year and worked with staff to provide up-to-date information for our website. The list really never ends.

So as the heat of the summer melts the crayons in my SUV, I’m thankful for my job at UST. I get to meet new people, stay connected with old friends, and find ways to keep life exciting. Now who would want time off from doing that?