From One Oak-Themed University To Another: Vanderbilt Bound

Created by: Mikki Hornstein, 2012-2013 Career Advising Fellow

Wait. It’s over already?

Like Katie said, the time here at Elon simply flew by. I can easily remember back to the phone interview I had last year with Marianne and Ashley, the on-campus visit, and the phone call I got from Ross on commencement day offering me the position. I was so excited to walk across the stage with the opportunity to be a part of something as appealing as the Career Fellow program at Elon.

When we first started, part of our training was a coat of arms, which on part of, we drew a representation of our goals. My drawing was of a seed getting watered and growing into a tree. Additionally, we were given welcome plants to symbolize our growth over the year. While my plant hasn’t grown significantly (probably because of the tiny pot in which it resides), I feel like I have grown exponentially as a professional.


Javier — my office plant — alive and well.

Some of my specific goals were:

  1. Increase experience with one-on-one advising.
  2. Become proficient in the administration and interpretation of at least one career assessment.
  3. Improve comfort with public speaking and presentations.
  • I’ve met one-on-one with over 250 students. Many repeats, and many who have been kind enough to report back to me with good news     about jobs and internships. Check!
  • Katie and I went through the first level (CSS100HE: Strengths Educator) of StrengthsQuest training and have conducted group interpretations both together, and separately. Additionally, I now feel very comfortable with the administration and interpretation of the STRONG Interest Inventory. Double check!
  • Now, public speaking is still not my favorite thing but I am SO MUCH BETTER with presenting and speaking in front of others than I ever thought possible. I presented over 50 different times over the course of five months including: facilitating classroom workshops, teaching sections of Transitions Strategies classes, representing the SPDC at an Admissions event, and presenting at a regional professional development conference. Check!

This is just a sample of some of the professional goals that I have met during this academic year. In addition to my work with the SPDC, I have found my work with the MCC as Program Coordinator for the SMART Mentoring Program, to be invaluable. I was able to work with a wonderful group of professionals and of students. It gave me the opportunity to have a more “student affairs” experience than I think working with the SPDC alone would have provided.

In addition to all of that, however, I have also found that I have built what I hope to be long lasting relationships with Ross, Katie, Ashley, and other professionals in North Carolina. Elon has been incredibly good to me and I cannot thank everyone who has made this experience so invaluable enough. I hope to see this program continue and grow over the years.

As for my next steps, I will be joining the team in the Global Education Office at Vanderbilt University as a Study Abroad Advisor. I’m excited for this next step and I hope to be able to integrate the things I’ve learned at Elon into my work there. I have worked with this team previously, as a Graduate Assistant, and know that they will provide the environment in which I can continue to grow, professionally. I also have the added bonus of an established social network from graduate school.


Thank you again to everyone who made this fellowship program possible and successful.


About mjhornstein

Career Services Fellow at Elon University

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