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.


Author: mjhornstein

Career Services Fellow at Elon University

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