I cannot believe that TPE Onsite is on the horizon! I vividly remember rushing to pay my early-bird fee in December in order to get first dibs on the jobs that were available. I was entirely impatient and thought that I may not get a position because of the sheer amount of candidates coming to San Antonio. Nevertheless, I was confident in my graduate assistantship experience with the African-American Male Initiative at the University of West Georgia. I knew that I had unique experiences that would distinguish me from the other TPE Onsite candidates. I decided to hone in on my experiences in various functional areas as a selling point for employers. I have listed a couple pointers that have been effective for me in this hectic job search process.
Get Help and Ask Questions!
As the months progressed, I became more organized and diligent with my job search process. My peer mentor, Tynesha McCullers, provided exceptional critique of my materials. I encourage everyone to utilize your peers to gather diverse opinions about your materials, interview techniques, and find a perfect fit. My résumé and cover letter became progressively better and I received more responses from schools as well. I soon began to have difficulty deciding between schools from which to accept invitations to interview. I often call upon the readings done in my Student Affairs Administration class. Last year during spring semester, our class read the book called Where You Work Matters by Joan B. Hirt. That book gave me valuable insight into what type of institution at which I’d like to work. The knowledge that I gained from the book kept me from overpopulating my Onsite Interview schedule with too many schools and, as a result, better access my options. I think that I would value an institution that places an emphasis on diversity amongst its students and staff. In addition to diversity initiatives, I would like to gain a supervisor that is intentional with preparing me for future roles in student affairs. I expect to be pushed beyond my limits and develop new skills and competencies along the way. I will be sure to ask those questions in San Antonio so I can do my best to gauge potential opportunities.
Concern Yourself about What You Can Control!
I’m excited about going to San Antonio for the TPE Onsite event. I anticipate a challenging and competitive environment in which to thrive. I fell victim to the “comparison bug” but I finally realized how detrimental that was to my experience as a candidate. I think that it’s important for every TPE Onsite candidate to remember to focus more on what they can control instead of being overwhelmed by the match-making process. Therefore, choose to do mock interviews with seasoned practitioners in the field. In addition, I found Interview Stream to be a valuable resource to utilize for practice. You could also find distinctive information about the institutions with which you’re interviewing. I created a “TPE Onsite 2017 Playbook” that reviews every school with which I’m interviewing and has valuable information about the institution, their culture, and their department. I believe that deliberate preparation strategies will yield huge dividends for candidates that decide to use them. I hope that this blog post was helpful to you and I hope to connect with you at TPE Onsite!