Hit the Road, Jack!

images As I have mentioned before in many of my blog postings, I am working in the Graduate Admissions Office this semester as the Graduate Assistant, as well as completing internship hours for my Masters in Student Affairs and Higher Education. Being in the office full-time has opened many great opportunities for me to advance in my newly professional career path. I truly believe we are all lifelong learners; learning new and exciting things each and every day.University_Buffalo_4

This past week I was granted the opportunity to spend a few days on the road with Betsy Kane, the Director of Graduate Admissions. We traveled to Western New York, to visit SUNY Buffalo and SUNY Fredonia, to participate in their Graduate School Fairs. As both a staff member and a student, I understand that deciding which college is the right fit for you can be a daunting task. This is what makes recruitment travel so exciting – the searching students get the opportunity to speak with a representative of the college in person. This can help a student decide if the college might be where he/she would like to live, learn and grow over the next few years.1897885437_1ac38bd67b_z

Conversations with prospective students are always eye-opening.  We are all different in our career paths, giving a unique story to tell in the process. There is a lot we can learn from interacting with students on the road. Although we may not have a program a student is looking for, this information can better help the college as a whole when it comes to recruitment. What programs should we be looking into getting? What are students searching for? What colleges have these programs? How do we compare as an institution?

12122682_10103528756405797_2818978225050465519_nHere we are looking sharp and ready to speak with students at SUNY Fredonia!

The employees in Graduate Admissions play a very important role when it comes to enrollment at SUNY Plattsburgh. This critical role starts with marketing the college to students and then keeping communication with the students as they proceed through the application process. It is important that we remember to keep the institutions mission, values and characteristics at the forefront when speaking with students. We are essentially the eyes and ears of the college.

I enjoyed the chance to hit the road and get a glimpse at how recruitment travel works, and am excited at the prospect of doing this for a living!

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it is on my list.”- Susan Sontag

The Season with Two Names

tumblr_nuch036xC21sxexoyo1_1280Welcome Autumn (or Fall).

I love everything about autumn. I can’t wait for it each year. For as long as I can remember, fall has been my favorite time of year. I’ve always thought this was because I was born in late October (5 days before Halloween) so fall was the very first season I experienced. Whether that’s the reason or not, the truth is this: I cannot get enough of fall.

The colors, the holidays, the changes — it’s all so magical. Every year it’s similar, but every year feels like I’m experiencing it for the first time.

When talking about happiness, one of the key aspects that often comes up is gratitude. Like many people, I don’t spend enough time focusing on what I’m grateful for (and I know I’d be a lot happier if I did!) so today I’m going to write about something I’m grateful right now in this very moment — the reasons I love fall here in the North Country. So, here you have ’em…

Orange is everywhere.
The weather becomes cozy.
Fresh School Supplies.
New autumn smells permeate the air.
Leaves crackle underneath your feet.
The changing trees.
Warm drinks.
Football season (this one is for my partner, HA.).
Seasonal treats.
The spirit changes in the air.
PIES! (Especially when I can make them in a mug!)

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Every season has its upside; however, I believe autumn has a particular beauty to it. Take a walk around campus, you will see a few peeks of the  new season.

The Internship


Welcome ladies and gentleman, lacrosse bros and cheerleaders, nerds, hipsters and preps, to my blog about my field experience thus far.

If you have to do an internship as part of your graduate program, chances are it’s not going to be quite the same as the one Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson have in the movie The Internship. As much as we may love to play with fun toys and design cool GOOGLE pictures- we have other important tasks to handle; like saving the world! (jk)

As you may have been following (or if you are a first time visitor to my blog) I am graduating in December from the Student Affairs & Higher Education program – YAY!  As part of my my final semester requirements, I am currently completing a full time internship in the Graduate Admissions Office. Since I have been in the office for about a year now as a Graduate Assistant, the transition has been fairly easy. I still have some of the same office duties that I was doing before and have added on some other responsibilities, such as, looking at student feedback from graduate events, learning different student recruitment styles, and learning the office procedures and review applications the Director is in charge of completing.

Having been employed full-time before, the concept of working long hours was not new to me.  The content, however, is new.  I have worked in retail and the restaurant businesses, but the office environment is very different in ways. Being in such a small office with one or two professionals, one graduate student and one work study student, makes for a very welcoming environment. It makes communication easy and shared ideas to be tossed around and explored.

The semester started off busy in the Graduate Admissions Office. We lost and gained a new Office Assistant, we held our first graduate social event of the semester at the Naked Turtle with over 30 students in attendance, and we held the 2015 Graduate and Professional School Fair, with 75 graduate schools and 275 students in attendance.  Next up, we are planning a graduate student hike on October 3, and our Visit Day for prospective graduate students on November 7, 2015.

Some people might assume that an office position is boring, but it’s really far from it.  No two days are alike here.  The office works on different projects throughout the year too, so it really keeps things interesting.  I know I’m gaining great experience in the field I hope to work in, and I’m excited to see what the next 3 months bring!



Your 20s are a decade of transition after transition. With a new year of graduate school in full swing, this is the time of year when milestones touch all of our lives. Transitions are exciting moments in which we know our life will never be the same. This time can also be challenging and stressful. Whether you are starting graduate school right after finishing your bachelor’s degree, or from returning to school after taking a break, I want to share some tips for staying cool through the transition.

  • Be present, meaning sometimes in the heat of the excitement of transitions, it is easy for it to all become blurry. Take it all in and be still. It’s so easy to jump ahead. Remember to take one thing at a time.
  • Take stock: evaluate your life and what is going on. Ask yourself several questions; are you pursuing your goals? Are you on the path to a career you want? Now is the perfect time to make those necessary bold choices you have been setting aside.
  • Talk with supportive friends. The increased stress can be a bit overwhelming. This is the perfect time to let it out and talk through your frustrations with family and friends. Remember to take a walk around the block, call your mom and let your inner circle be there for you! For me I know I have a semester left but I keep beating myself up because I don’t have my life all figured out. Letting some of my emotions out has helped me keep things in perspective and be present in the moment. One day at a time.
  • Prioritize. Yes, I said it and I will say it over and over again. Plan your time based on what is most important to you. Make time for those people and activities that matter.
  • Lastly, don’t make decisions out of fear. When going through a time of change it is easy to freeze up and make decisions that we really didn’t want to make. Move through transitions with courage.

Keep in mind that while stressful, transitions are a really good thing.  They mean that you’re moving in a direction of progress and transformation in your life.  Keep up the great work!

Semester Recap


indexAll good things must come to an end. Today I say farewell and best wishes to those who graduated (YAY!) and “you did it!” to those who are planning to return in the Fall.

Here is a quick look back at what the Graduate Admissions Office has accomplished this semester:

We plowed our way through several snow storms and consumed many yummy warm beverages.th

We enjoyed a long, relaxing Spring Break!

We held a memorable event graduate social event called Connecting Educators, where we explored the roles of other professionals from various programs such as education, school psychology and counseling. An hour was just not enough. The discussion could have gone on for days. This is hopefully a beginning to a new annual event.11010983_663847770410957_7180359415517867244_n

The Director of Graduate Admissions, Betsy, and I attended the 2015 28th Annual NAGAP Conference in New Orleans – where we got to celebrated Betsy’s Birthday!

We volunteer for the 2015 Plattsburgh Half Marathon raising awareness and money for Parkinsons research and Team Fox! Great Job to our Grad Students who ran the marathon!11120071_10153340493817578_7740122878760693042_n

AND we had FREE coffee week for finals! index

None of this semesters events could have happened without the help of our Graduate Students.

However it is that you decide to spend your summer, whether it’s hiking, swimming, fishing, reading, or sleeping, be sure to look back at everything you have accomplished this semester. Fifteen weeks in a semester full of new material, experiences and interactions can be overwhelming. Look at where you started and where you are now…


Spring Finals

Yup, it’s that time again – the dreaded finals week.

If you are not already organized, you better get it together!  This week is crucial.  For myself, I find it helpful to organize my books, binders, papers and planner (I never go anywhere without my planner). Once those are neatly grouped together, I can start my “to do” list.cf1755606b8b5cd056800773b6bc15ccDid I mention, I may have a slight O.C.D. problem, that’s another post. :P

The end of the semester there are always a few 10-12 page papers to write, no big deal. Unless you are like me and have 6. That thing I mentioned earlier – organization, yeah that comes in handy right about now

It’s that time of the year when summer is right around the corner and it’s getting warmer outside and all you want to do is lay on the beach!

But, this is not the time to slow down or daydream.  Starting off the semester strong is easy – it’s maintaining that concentration through the last weeks of the semester we struggle with.girls-bored-class-031207-240x312There are plenty of events to help motivate and eliminate stress during finals week on campus. Recently the Student Involvement center hosted an event that involved dogs – cute, fluffy, friendly dogs. (Sunshine the Golden Retriever, and Glory the Newfoundland) for students the take a break from studying. It was a donation-encouraged event where all the proceeds were donated to the Elmore SPCA, a no kill animal shelter in the Plattsburgh community.Petting-dog-bannerThe Student Learning Center here on campus located in the ACC is open for their Open Study during finals week. Although, Open Study hours change with each semester, if their doors are open, you are welcome to go in, settle yourself at a table, and work at your own pace through your course material. It’s great because small study groups are also welcome to use our area and the tables and chairs in the center. When you have butterflies right before a presentation, this is a great place to

IT IS FINALLY HERE: The Graduate Admissions Office is giving away free coffee to current grad students during finals week!!index

We hope you see you! Good Luck!


NAGAP 2015

NAGAP AM 15_290x100I had the pleasure of attending the 28th Annual NAGAP Conference in New Orleans last week, which was my first time at a professional conference.  NAGAP, which stands for the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals, includes staff members and some faculty from colleges all over the US who work in fields directly or closely related to graduate admissions.

The conference provided a great opportunity to network with professional colleague’s at all different sizes and types of institutions.  There was information presented that was new and exciting to me, as well as information I already knew or had experienced through my time working in the Graduate Admissions Office here at SUNY Plattsburgh. It was nice to have the flexibility to choose the educational sessions that sounded most pleasing to me for where I am in my professional development. There was a wide range of different sessions occurring at one time so you could move around to one session or another easily.

A few of the sessions I attended were:

  • Getting Off on the Right Foot: Expanding Orientation to Enhance Student Learning
  • PlattForm Provides Solutions to Enrollment
  • Retention & Career Preparation Challenges
  • Cultural Sensitivity in Graduate Programs: A New Approach to Student Support – Adapting to a Global Culture
  • “Seven Golden Rules” for Being the Most Productive Person on Your Campus

The dynamic speakers gave a well-rounded experience for all who attended the conference. The needs of the attendees were met – whether you were just starting out (like myself) or a veteran to the Graduate Admissions world. These sessions provided me with new and creative approaches across a variety of topics related to Student Affairs and working with students in higher education.

Not only was the conference focused on attending educational sessions but there were also opportunities to mingle and meet new people. There were breaks between sessions that allowed social interaction and a night on the town at Mardi Gras World, where music and other activities took place. We were able to explore, touch and take pictures of the giant floats used in the New Orleans Mardi Gras parades.

10610642_10103078891264147_5869371914764028413_nMy boss, working on her professional development :)

I would encourage any graduate students to attend a professional conference if possible. It doesn’t have to be paid for out of your pocket either – professional development money exists on our campus for our graduate students to pursue these activities, which allowed me this opportunity.  Because of this experience, I will be more comfortable when I attend these conferences as a working professional in the future!