Admissions #10yearchallenge

Greetings from South Dakota! A recent trend on Facebook was the #10yearchallenge where you post a picture of yourself today alongside a picture of yourself from ten years ago…or maybe some could do 20 years ago or more. It’s a fun opportunity to take a few minutes to reminisce and reflect upon certain chapters in your life and think about where you’ve been, what you’ve done, what you’ve been able to experience, challenging times, good times, and so on and so forth.

As I think about my professional career, 10 years ago for me, I was working as Dean of Admissions at Iowa Wesleyan College and then made the move to my current position as Dean of Enrollment at the University of South Dakota in 2013. Prior to Iowa Wesleyan, I was an Admissions Counselor at Buena Vista University where I started this amazing profession in August 1999. I would also claim my days on Phone Team as solid admissions experience during my junior and senior years at the University of Iowa.

I also had more hair ten years ago… 

Anyway, as I think about the progression in my professional career, I always go back to the constant that there was always somebody that believed in me even when I didn’t. There were, and continue to be, opportunities that work and some that don’t always work. Take time to celebrate the wins along the way, and figure out a different path if something didn’t go the way you wished it had. Most importantly, surround yourself with good people. 

I am fortunate to be involved in professional development programs and volunteer in organizations like Iowa ACAC, NACAC, Dakota ACAC, Rotary, Junior Achievement, and others. Having the opportunity to serve in various roles and capacities in these organizations has offered me a variety of personal and professional growth, from a deeper understanding of how systems work to a professional network and a lifetime of friendships. 

If I were to offer advice for anyone wishing to grow in the profession and advance in your career, I would offer the following: Get involved! Make connections, take risks, ask for help when you need it, listen to others, know that most days are good but some are challenging, and it’s important to believe in yourself through it all. I’m sure you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish by the time the next #10yearchallenge rolls around.

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