Apologies for straying from my schedule. Life has been nutso this summer, but in a very good way.

My new internship rocks so far. I am basically leading the effort to design an institutionalized (read: consistent) orientation program at a community college. I’ve been doing a lot of foundational work, looking at other two-year college models, identifying which populations are being served, and designing some preliminary pieces like slideshows and proposal documents. It calls for a lot of independent work, and so far, I’ve felt pretty energized. It will take me a bit longer than originally planned, but I have plenty of adventures planned for the weekends.

Speaking of adventures, I traveled back down to Portland this Sunday to meet up with a crew of friends from Cadiz, Spain. It was so good to catch up, even briefly, with quality people. It was also good to watch my British friend fumble his way through Big Buck Hunter. USA!

An unintended side effect of the PDX trip: I got hooked on Entourage, thanks to the efforts of one particular person. I also discovered I am not that allergic to said person’s kitty-cat. I’m also sore from helping haul a shelving unit up three flights of stairs; I’m so badly out of shape.

There’s a lot going on right now. I have a summer wedding to attend in Port Orchard next weekend and a trip to SoCal at the end of that following week. It’ll be good to see more faces I haven’t seen in awhile.

Lastly, push me to start training hard. I’m racing in the PDX Race for the Cure 5K, and I would like to not fail badly. I’m eating a bit better and being mindful to walk more, but I need to hit the gym, as well as get some tape for my arches and hit the pavement.

There’s recent life in a nutshell. More goodies to come.

AHE 510: COB Internship

My internship with the College of Business has been, to sum it up, fun. I have worked independently to evaluate two social networking tools and their relevance within higher education.

The first network I have been evaluating over the term is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is commonly thought to be the “professional” version of Facebook, just another collection of “people I know.” However, LinkedIn has the potential to be a wonderful tool when used effectively. My job this term was to research what was being said about LinkedIn and synthesize a users’ guide from there. What I have learned is that LinkedIn is in another realm of its own, and while the functionality is just being discovered, it will be incredibly helpful to emerging professionals. For instance, LinkedIn has a feature in which users can recommend each other; for employers, this means that instead of hunting down formal letters of recommendation in a job search, those recommendations are only a click away. Granted, it is not a perfect method of communicating information, but it is a step in the right direction, especially in our growing tech-savvy world.

The second network I began evaluating is Chatter.com. Chatter is an intranetwork tool, meaning that it is intended for offices to communicate within themselves, not to network in extensive ways, like LinkedIn. Chatter combines elements of an exclusive Facebook and Twitter site to offer a unique form of communication. It is easy to use, which is the basis for social networking sites, but it simultaneously offers a way to promote quick, informal transfer of information between office members. Instead of sending cumbersome emails to one another, employees are able to post updates and share thoughts with ease. Its usefulness in higher education is something that is being evaluated, as it was developed by Salesforce.com to drive communication and collaboration in the corporate world. That said, it has the potential to streamline processes in various areas of universities, not just the OSU College of Business.

Whereas my internship with IDEA required a good portion of in-office time, one thing I particularly enjoyed about the COB internship was its portability. Although not necessarily something I had anticipated learning more about when I started my internship, the “working from home” portion gave me some insight into the appeal of telecommuting and how the work week is reshaping in today’s society. A tool such as Chatter retains its functionality from computer to computer, whereas remote email (like mobile Outlook) does not. I could see Chatter becoming a big player in the realm of admissions and recruiting, when members are on the road. It could also serve as a more tight-knit version of the Twitter “backchannel” at professional conferences; members of a group would be able to share their thoughts using trends (words prefixed with the # sign) on a platform that would ensure the rest of the team would see it.

Competencies addressed: (7) Teaching, Presentation, and Publication; (8) Individual, Group, and Organizational Communication; (1) Knowledge of Higher Education and Student Affairs [particularly in tech-related areas]

AHE 510: IDEA Internship – Curriculum Integration

Beginning in Winter 2011, I had the opportunity to work with the International Degree and Education Abroad (IDEA) department. A division of International Programs, IDEA promotes globally-minded learning. Part of that is what is known as “curriculum integration.” Made popular by the forward-looking University of Minnesota, curriculum integration allows students to make very informed decisions on which programs will allow them to both: (a) travel and get new global perspective; and (b) continue towards completing a degree with properly equivalent classes.

My job, as the IDEA intern working on curriculum integration, had several components:

  • Learning to use Adobe InDesign
  • Updating existing curriculum integration documents (University Honors College, Spanish)
  • Researching approved study abroad programs for potential fit with departments and programs at OSU (History, Ethnic Studies, Philosophy)
  • Gaining further understanding of the services International Programs and IDEA provide
  • Communicating with faculty and department advisors for direction and guidance

After working on these various projects over the past two terms, I am much more confident in several areas. First, I have a better grasp on how programs are distributed within IDEA; I feel like I would know who to turn to if I had specific questions regarding a particular program. Secondly, I learned how to work a new computer program with little assistance beyond an initial walk-through. I definitely work best with a “hands-on” learning approach, and while there were a few hiccups while trying to format a document from time to time, I was able to work through the issues to create a good document. Lastly, in terms of institutional communication, I have learned that it is sometimes challenging to get timely responses from faculty members and staff due to outstanding circumstances, such as peak advising or other project priorities. It can be a bit frustrating to discover that your priority project is not high-priority for someone else; however, even in those cases, most people were keen on the idea of developing curriculum integration. Although it will probably be under someone else’s watch, I am happy to know that I have at least gotten a few departments thinking about how to re-tool their study abroad offerings and credits.

Competencies addressed:  (1)  Knowledge of Higher Education and Student Affairs; (3) Leadership; (8) Individual, Group, and Organizational Communication; (9) The Developing Professional

At the Speed of Light

A blog post in bullet points…

  • Internship approval forms have both come in for my UWI and WVC internships.
  • Putting the final touches on the big end-of-the-year BBQ for next Friday.
  • I was nominated for the Black Belt of Caring award; I didn’t win, but what an honor and a surprise.
  • One of my favorite people is coming to visit me this weekend, and we’re going to see one of my favorite bands on Friday.
  • Then it’s up to PDX to putter around and hopefully see a few more great people. One in particular.
  • The summer is also shaping up to be fun. Besides Trinidad, Chicago and Ocean Shores are on my plate, as well as a great chance of visiting a whole bunch of people in California.

This year is not really winding down–it’s blowing open a whole bunch of new doors.

End of the Year Banquet... just as things pick up

Internships and Such!

Short and to the point…

as soon as I get back from UWI, I’ll be making a transition to the Wenatchee Valley and interning at the community college there. I’ll be doing orientation-related work, and I’m stoked to dig into that piece of college life, especially with the CC dynamic.

Additionally, if you are looking for something to do from 1PM-2PM ET, I recommend you tune into Student Affairs Live! Follow @HigherEdLive to get in on the backchannel.

…That’s all for Wednesday. ❤

The Ever-Expanding “To Visit” List

I like to daydream about future travels. Such is the life of a girl with insatiable wanderlust. If I had sufficient funds and travel buddies, I would travel to the follow places within the general timelines.

Winter 2010:
– possibly back to Europe to hit up Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid (again), etc.
– late winter/early spring trip to Colorado

Spring 2011 (or 2012):
– Mexico (Manzanillo and/or Guadalajara)
– Las Vegas, NV (with the goal of seeing another Cirque du Soleil show)

Summer 2011:
– crossing fingers for an internship opportunity in one of the following places: Australia, Germany, Spain, England, Ireland
– otherwise, interning somewhere fun on the West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington) or maybe shooting for a stint on the East Coast (Boston, MA; NYC, NY; Pittsburgh, PA)

Winter 2011:
– Philippines
– Australia/NZ

Summer 2012:
– backpacking trip/graduation celebration on Hawaii’s Big Island and excursion to Kauai

Please note, this list is not exhaustive. These are my priorities, but if you’re traveling somewhere notable, let me know– the world is my oyster. I shall serve it up raw, on the half-shell, and slurp it down.

At least, that’s what I assume the saying means.

Testing the Waters

A few weekends ago, I lent F&S two books of mine. One of them, Unaccustomed Earth, opens with a quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which F&S discusses. Unlike my dear F&S, I’m definitely afflicted with wanderlust. I thought I was destined to return to the Wenatchee Valley when I first left home for college, but now I realize I probably will not “settle” anywhere for a long, long time. My future plans include having very few plans and being very open for opportunities all over the world, as long as they are in acceptable cities. More on that later, though.

That brings me to graduate school. I will be living in a different state for the first time, and I have every intention on making myself another home in Corvallis. You see, as a student affairs professional, one of my biggest aims will be to build community. After all, community is one basis for feeling “at home.”

However, in addition to that, I have a feeling I am going to really push to specialize in international programs. Having never formally studied abroad, though, I may be at a disadvantage. Luckily, I do have my GeoVisions tutoring experience, as well as a bit of traveling experience, and my awesome, amazing, and sometimes ridiculous motivation to be the best.

What’s the point? I’m getting there.

Yesterday, I did a bit more research into universities abroad, specifically in Germany. It’s easier to narrow the focus, one area at a time. Anyway. If I’m going to intern abroad, I need to find acceptable areas in which to intern, and then match those areas with institutions that are willing and capable of helping me learn.

Besides international programs (which, let’s face it, is a very broad category), I have interests in career services, orientation (a.k.a., an initial opportunity to build community), and distance learning. Additionally, I have an interest in serving underrepresented communities, which makes me a strong candidate for multicultural programs, and it also has given me an interest in serving the growing US military and veteran college population.

Okay, so in my recent research, I found out that a certain American university has a partnership with a Germany university, and they have a small administrative staff that works with students, putting them into acceptable programs. One of the staff members works with internship placement– which is fairly normal, only she’s working with placing American students into German companies.

I think it would be great to intern for the internship coordinator, and see what challenges arise in coordinating the students’ internships. Or see what types of challenges come up when designing partnership programs overseas. I see work like this as a great opportunity to apply my career services interest, my international (and travel) interest, and also as a way to explore community-building. It makes me so giddy thinking about it. I think that’s a fairly good sign that I’m finding a good area to go into.

I’m hopeful that I can make these ideas happen, and I think I’ll be able to pull it off if I want to badly enough. Like I said earlier, what I need to do is remain open to opportunities I may not hear about until later. Open mind, open heart– it’s a good way to be.