Pruitt: Make a habit of it

IMG_6387_e_webThough we haven’t yet said farewell to the Class of 2014, we’re already hard at work preparing for our incoming first-year students to visit in June. When they arrive, we’ll welcome them, help them learn more about the opportunities that await them and set them on the path to a successful transition to Carolina.

To encourage them to be successful students, we’ll give them advice in abundance: Go to class. Get involved in student organizations. Take advantage of all the university offers. Reflect on your experiences and make meaning of them.

To be successful professionals, we should follow very similar advice.

Attend division meetings. No matter your years of experience, your skill level or your role, you can learn something at every meeting. Participate in the discussion; listen to others, and share your ideas.

Get involved in a committee or work group. Contribute your expertise, learn from others and get to know university staff you might not otherwise work with.

Read. I’ve compiled a summer reading list. What’s on yours?

Take advantage of all the opportunities available to you. University Human Resources offers marvelous professional development trainings and seminars year-round. Our own award-winning professional development program offers a variety of opportunities for learning, and they’re customized each year based on feedback from you. There is tremendous opportunity for professional development right here on campus. Don’t miss out.

Make time to reflect. This can be difficult for all of us, but it’s important. To really learn, we must mull over the words we’ve read and heard, the ideas we’ve generated and the connections we’ve formed, as well as the observations we make as we engage in our daily lives.

These are just a few of the habits of highly effective student affairs professionals, the topic we’ll explore further at IdeaPOP on Wednesday, May 14. Our keynote speaker will be Azusa Pacific’s Eileen Hulme, an expert on leadership, change, innovation and thriving in higher education. We also will learn from a panel of senior student affairs officers, and we’ll benefit from the expertise of professionals throughout the division, all of whom will share insight on habits we can develop as we take charge of our professional development. If you haven’t already, sign up now.

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