Panel introduces students to careers on campus

Student Affairs 101-7

October marks Student Affairs Month, and the Division of Students Affairs is hosting a number of events to educate the UH community about the career opportunities available across campus. | Courtesy of Joy Wilson

The Department of Student Affairs represents everything that has to do with student life – from housing to student organizations – yet many students don’t realize how much the staff does.

“We’re trying to give undergraduate and graduate students a preview of what Student Affairs is. We understand that Student Affairs may look different on any given campus, but we have tons of options available through the actual higher education industry itself,” said De’Awn Bunch, marketing and communications manager with the Division of Student Affairs.

“We have people — such as on today’s panel — from Counseling and Psychological Services, Dean of Students’ Office and Campus Recreation.”

The panel featured six staff and six student leaders with UH Student Affairs, all sharing their experiences and what got them interested in working with college students.

“I think that most people don’t grow up saying, ‘I want to work in Student Affairs.’ It’s not the most talked-about with all the traditional positions, so today’s event is to be able to help you understand what a position in Student Affairs is, the background from an educational perspective for degree work that’s necessary and the vast array of jobs that you can be in, anywhere from admissions and financial aid to residence life to campus recreation, student unions, student leadership, fraternity and sorority life,” said Daniel Maxwell, associate vice president and chancellor for Student Affairs.

“There’s so many different things people can do, and the best way to do that is to get people a nice overview so they can be thinking about the profession that would get (them) excited, that they have a passion for, to sort of a specific area that they see (themselves) going into.”

Though the speakers came from very different backgrounds, they all shared a common denominator: They were highly involved in their campuses as students.

“Student Affairs is essential because it really supports the academic mission of the institution,” said Richard Walker, vice president and chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services. “You have an academic life and the outside of the classroom life, so we’re really about supporting everything that happens in your student experience outside the classroom, whether it’s student organization involvement … whether it’s living on campus … whether it’s campus and recreation.”

“Whatever it may be, we’re the group of folks who look after you when you’re not thinking solely about your academic life.”

The panel was the latest event for Careers in Student Affairs month, a celebration throughout the month of October. The month presents the question, “What do Student Affairs professionals do?” with group webinar watching parties and higher education administration class drop-ins.

The next event will be Wednesday with a webinar watch party regarding the choice between working full time or attending graduate school when considering a career in Student Affairs.

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