Continuing the Leadership Pipeline series. The eight participants that make up this year’s class will share their experiences about participating in RMASFAA’s renowned professional development program.
What is your current position and how long have you worked in financial aid?
I am currently a Financial Aid Counselor at the University of Utah and I have been here for about 2 ½ years. Previous to that I have about 3 ½ more years of experience at other schools, so about 6 years total in financial aid.
Who is your Leadership Pipeline mentor and describe your relationship with them.
My mentor is Carolyn Halgerson. She is so much fun! We have monthly contact in which we talk about my goals, self-improvement and just life in general. She is very invested in me and is there to help in any way she can through this process of trying to be prepared for leadership opportunities.
Why did you decide to join Leadership Pipeline?
My main goal in joining the Leadership Pipeline was to do something that would allow me better opportunities for advancement. Having it be based specifically in the financial aid field, to me, makes it more valuable than a management training with your HR department. I have done both and this program makes me feel like I am gaining more specific information for what I want to do. It also provides amazing connections with other financial aid professionals.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far?
Communication has been a really important topic that comes up in almost every subject that we focus on. I have learned that not only is it important to make sure that we are communicating well with others but also stylizing how we communicate based on how others receive communication the best. For instance some individuals want to have all of the information and facts about any changes that may be coming before they can feel comfortable with the change. Some people need to meet in person to discuss things while others prefer an email. It is really important to be in tune with those around you so that communication is flowing the way that it should.
What is it that you are hoping to come away with at the end of the program?
The main thing that I want to have at the end of this program is a skill set and knowledge base for being effective in the workplace. I am already seeing improvements with what we have studied and discussed and look forward to additional tools that I will be gaining in the next few months.
Why would you recommend the Leadership Pipeline program to others?
I think that in general self-improvement is important but with this there is so much potential for any professional goals that you might have. You create contacts, build your knowledge in financial aid as well as management, and in general it will create so many opportunities for you!