The non-traditional path to Student Affairs

I can’t say I’ve chosen the easiest path for my career in terms of education. My BA was in International Studies and my MA will be in Asian Studies. More and more I see jobs that would fit me but they require degrees in Education, Higher Ed, or Student Affairs. So why have I made things harder for myself by not going with a degree like that? Simply put, I lacked information.

Well first I’ll say that I didn’t know what I wanted career-wise when I entered my Master’s program. I simply felt I wanted something to do with Japan. But I truly enjoyed my time working at the Study Abroad Center at UH that it cemented that it was the job for me. And secondly I didn’t even know that such majors existed. My only knowledge for advanced degrees in education were for either teachers or people who wanted to become principles. I had no clue that Student Affairs was even a degree. In my case I had a very valid reason for my thinking.

When I studied abroad in Japan the program was run by my mentor at OU and he was a Professor. So while I knew that the study abroad office kind of existed it wasn’t a real thing in my mind. So I felt that if I wanted to work in education abroad (with Japan) I would have to be a professor. Another addition would be my former boss was a Political Scientist and one of my co-workers was formerly in banking. So the whole student affairs education path was not clear to me.

I have since come to realize that this is not the case. But I feel that I still want to follow my career dream.  I really wish I had landed my dream job already so that I could give advice to others who are still hunting but I’m in the same boat as them still.

So here I am applying for every job I can find hoping that the next app will be the one.

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