Tweaking Something Until It Works

Leonora Hall, Elon Career Advising Fellow

rise and improvement  concept

In the Student Professional Development Center, there are constant changes so we can better meet students’ needs.  We are also persistent in adapting what we do in order to make improvements.  This includes reflecting on and discussing what could and should be tweaked.

Events are constantly tweaked each year based on what went well and what did not.  For instance, we tweaked how we gathered survey information at the Job and Internship Exposition because we wanted more clear and detailed responses from students.  As a result, a co-worker and I orally asked students survey questions as they were leaving the event.  This allowed us to ask follow-up questions, get clarification and ask for additional detail.  Although we collected less surveys, we received more quality and informative feedback.

During graduate school, I worked in an office where I planned service events for students to participate in.  It is probably not a surprise that fifteen students might sign up for events and three might actually attend. One of my mentors at Elon University helped me make a change to events to avoid low attendance.  My colleague suggested I partner with a student club or organization for events to ensure attendance.  I really wish I had thought of this in graduate school because this change makes a huge difference.

Additionally, our office has tweaked career advising for students. We offer evening advising to students at a student apartment club house.  One obvious benefit is convenience for students to get advising where they live.  Additionally, if students are intimidated to visit the Student Professional Development Center, this is a great way to casually meet them where they are comfortable.

Continuously tweaking what we do allows us to grow ourselves as an office and reach more students.  As a result, we can get more students involved with our office and resources.

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