Monday, February 8, 2016

Don't underestimate the power of connections

President of the National Communication Association Student Club (NCASC), community assistant, communication studies major, and intern are just a few titles that define my life at Bloomsburg.

I have to attribute all of my leadership opportunities and involvement to my major — I am constantly networking, socializing, and working with various groups, organizations, and people on campus.

As a junior in college, I often think about life "In the Real World." I would be lying to you if I said I wasn't nervous about graduating or what happens after we leave. College is a weird place.

You leave home after high school, start over in a new place, and spend four years creating a new home and knowing that you have a finite time there. You grow up, make lifetime friends, hopefully find a career interest, and while you are busy with other stuff, you're trying to figure life out. During this process, I have been trying to be more spontaneous and take more risks, which is something that is not really in my nature.

Here is where my story begins

I was a freshman in my second semester of college, sitting at an NCASC meeting that was devoted to elections for the executive board. In that moment I decided to run for the position of vice president.

I can picture myself standing up in a room full of upperclassman, giving a speech as to why I, an 18-year-old who has never directed anyone or anything, would make the best candidate for this role.

What is in my nature is confidence, people skills, and public speaking. And, as it would turn out, I won the election for VP and was the newest member of the executive board.

Plot twist.

I didn't know the president would be graduating in the fall, which meant I would take over as the president in the spring. This was a challenge that I was excited about, and I couldn't have been happier with my choice to run for the executive board.

My second year at Bloomsburg led me to residence life, where I became a CA. This experience has been something I will value forever. Even though I always tell my residents that I'm not their mother, I always think of them as 45 (ish) of my kids, and watching them grow from their first semester to their second is so cool.

Because most of them are freshman, they come to me for advice about pretty much everything, which I love. I feel a responsibility toward them, to help them grow, get involved, and have the best college experience possible. Now I'm in my third year, so I will follow the pattern and talk about the third leadership role I've taken since I have been here.

I talked earlier about how networking and socializing is second nature for me. Don't ever underestimate the power of connections. I landed my marketing and communications internship befriending a member of the NCASC Executive Board, and I can't thank her enough for helping me.

Each year I have added something new to my life, taken a risk that has opened up a new path and new opportunities. I was fortunate enough to find my niche at Bloomsburg very early in the time I have spent here, and I am forever grateful for the people I have met, the opportunities I have had, and the impact I am making here!

Ready to find your niche?

  • Spring Activities Fair — representatives from many of the more than 250 clubs and organizations will be on-hand Friday, Feb. 12, during an Activities Fair from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in the KUB Multipurpose 345 A&B.
  • Husky Student Leadership Summit — connect on Saturday, Feb. 27, with alumni who once held leadership positions on campus, along with discussions on how to capitalize on skills learned as student leaders in life.

— Kate Armstrong, junior communication studies major #HuskyLife #ProfessionalU

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