A Very Unique Experience in Applied Learning

The light post yesterday and the very late post tonight are the result of a wonderful opportunity I was given through my school. I am the student representative on a committee to select an important leader for the University.

To say the experience was incredible really doesn't do the whole process justice. There was so much I've observed, learned and gained from this opportunity that I could write for weeks and not get everything in print.

First up, seeing a major recruiting firm coordinate the process, seeking candidates out and advertising in targeted publications was great. In all my years of retail, most jobs we had available weren't even advertised. Seeing great candidates from all over the country says that the school is well regarded, but more importantly, gave us a glimpse into how similar academic institutions all around the country operate.

Then, the candidates. While I can't speak about who is considered in this role, I can say that the way they all processed and answered the same questions is a great way for me to use the two years of studying, specifically motivation and social psych principles. The questions they asked said so much more than what was on the surface.

At the end of two days of interviewing, two candidates asked me for input as a student on campus. This impressed me, not just because I am a student. The last few weeks on this campus have me reflecting on what made my time there so fulfilling and it boils down to the passion the faculty and staff have for the Poly model and for genuinely assisting the students. That two people wanted to know this information tells me those candidates would fit in well with those already serving the students.

Outside the interviewing, I've spent the past several weeks pondering a major decision regarding exactly how far I'll go in my educational pursuits. Last week was spent polling my current instructors about my dissertation concept, whether it would be better suited for my current path, or should I return to Psychology for this area of study. (It'd do well in either arena).

Their answer was to throw questions back at me, and as a result, I've decided to apply to the doctoral program in Instructional Technology once I finish the master's. As part of the selection committee, I was able to use some of the down time of the past two days to poll some of the many PhD.'s about their experiences and what advice they had.

They all had kind words and excellent advice which made me see that what I was charged with doing right now will serve me in good stead as I embark on research and writing in a few short years. Asking the questions of candidates serves an important need for the University, to find the right fit for the school's future.

However, at the same time, it was a way for me to apply what I already learned in the classroom. More importantly, sitting at that table was probably similar to what defending a dissertation must be like.

Ultimately, in serving the school, they've served me something quite amazing-a glimpse into what lies ahead for me.


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