Like many others, I pretty much fell into the Financial Aid career path. I was a recent college graduate working for the University of South Carolina Admissions office when I decided it was time to move back to Utah. I saw an open position for a Financial Aid Counselor at the University of Utah and hesitantly applied for it, since those financial aid folk have somewhat of a reputation. My boss at the time told me that in order to go anywhere in Student Services, I needed both Admissions and Financial Aid Experience. Fortunately for me, I got the job, travelled across the country, and got shipped off to Colorado Springs for Summer Institute on my first day. Talk about learning financial aid through a fire hydrant. But, clearly it didn’t scare me away so I guess I was meant to be here.
I worked for the University of Utah Financial Aid office as a counselor for a year or so, and then was promoted to the Loan Program Manager. Around that time our current director, Kent Larson, approached me to serve as chair of the RMASFAA conference. I had already expressed an interest to get involved outside of the office, but honestly I didn’t know what I had committed myself to do. However, serving as Chair of the 2006 RMASFAA conference was the best decision I ever made. It opened the doors for me to participate in so many other positions within RMASFAA including Summer Institute chair, to serve as President of UASFAA and I’m currently serving on the NASFAA Conference Committee. Within the office, I eventually was promoted to Assistant Director of Operations, and am currently serving as Assistant Director of Counseling. I’ve been in the office just over 14 years and have truly appreciated my experiences here.
The most rewarding part of being involved at any level is the amazing friendships you make with other people. Some of my most trusted friends I have met through my involvement with RMASFAA. It’s great to get to know how other people in the financial aid world do things differently and know who you can go to for help or advice. I would encourage any new professional to get involved whether it is as a committee member at the state level or even taking on a chair position at the state, regional or national level. Every opportunity I have had to serve in these associations has provided me with more rewarding experiences in return than I ever could have imagined.
Amy received the Oscar R. ‘Jack’ Hendrix Award in 2006.