While in the Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs (PASA) masters program, the concept of serving students in as many ways as possible has been nailed down in my mind. It could be taken for granted by other professionals. But I still remember how surprised I was when I heard “serving students” for the first time in one class. It is a big change in my view since I did not see or receive systematic student services in China. Chinese students are often frustrated and unable to get help effectively and efficiently. What I learned in America is that student affairs professionals are easily accessible and reaching out to students in every aspect of their school life. Some services are surprising me that student affairs have done so many and still have more to accomplish. For instance, academic support, disability services, residential education and orientation are brand new to me, but I have learned they are significant programs in student affairs. Students are regarded as clients to whom we have commitments for their success in school and future life. Holding the student-oriented idea as fundamental, I am glad to see it merging with my original goal of improving and changing students’ experience.
In addition to be patient and friendly, the courses in PASA program at USC taught me to do my job professionally, scientifically and ethically. To be considerate is the biggest competence I have been trained for. I learned to pay attention to students’ identity development, including spiritual and Intellectual, from developmental theories. Taking students’ different backgrounds such as racial, socioeconomic and gender into account while making recommendations is showing the professional face without bias. Additionally, we are still staff working in organizations; it is essential for us to know institutional management and legal issues in classes.
Based on all the knowledge I can get during master’s study years, I am also drawing my future professional picture by the practice and experience. I have worked for international services and advising in different institutions. In the coming years, I want to begin my career by staying in areas where I can keep close contacts with students, such as academic advisor, international services, offices for different student groups and so on. It is the various students’ life that I am looking forward to understand from work so that I can have more considerate and holistic administrative view in the future.
For the long term, I have two paths in my current plan. The first goal is to better serve international students in America. My second long-term goal is to change or promote the student services in China. Please deatials about my goals at :
As a new professional with an international view, I am confident to apply what I have learned into meaningful practice.