In my senior year of college I reluctantly took over organizing several events for an organization I was part of. It was my last year in college and just wanted to focus on classes and friends and soaking up what was the end of a really significant time in my life. One that would be unlike any other. Instead there I was, painting signs and making flyers and talking about budgets.
One particularly busy afternoon, I remember sitting in the organization’s office and thinking: I’m so tired of balancing all this with my class work and my life, but if I could do something like this as a job that could be pretty awesome.
Approximately seven years after that moment I decided to go to graduate school; seeking a degree that I would open the door to jobs in higher education.
Why did it take seven years? There are countless reasons. But one thing that I always come back to is the fact that I never thought to ask anyone who worked at the college how they got their job. I had great relationships with several student affairs professionals, but it never crossed my mind to ask about their career paths.
I’m sure this just wasn’t on my 21-year-old mind at all. I don’t blame myself, nor do I have regrets. But I do find myself wanting to encourage others to ask the questions.
So if you’re sitting in a campus office or a coffee shop or a crowded hotel lobby tonight and you’re wondering how that person across the room or behind the bar or over there by the fireplace got where they are in this very moment – go ask them. Who knows what you might learn about yourself through someone else’s story.