What I have enjoyed the most about my Summer@Brown internship experience is being able to make connections, not just with many of the professionals that are currently in the field but also with current graduate students and others like me that are preparing to embark on their student affairs journey.
For the past few weeks, I have been studying for the GRE and fine tuning my statement of purpose for my number one graduate school choice. I feel so determined right now to go all out on this particular application and really give my 110 percent both on the GRE and in completing the remainder of the application materials.
Applying to an institution in the Ivy League something that I never thought that I would do but after meeting so many amazing people, it does not surprise me that they have motivated me to really go above what I think I can accomplish.
I’m getting the opportunity to network with professionals that share identities with me which I believe is the best thing that could have ever happened. Many of these professionals have opened the door for me to really explore the field a bit deeper and it is helping me in guidance to discovering what area of student affairs I want to focus on.
Although I am still very passionate about leadership development, it is also very important to me to be involved in areas that provide resources to students that may be first-generation students, low-income students, or students from various minority groups such as being a person of color or identifying as LGBTQ+.
Personally, I don’t think there is enough praise given to students that identify as first-generation that are about to be the first in their family to get a degree. I have had the pleasure of sharing with some of the Summer@Brown students that being a first-generation student is more than just getting a degree. Being first-generation means that you get to set the bar for many of the people in your family and / or community. Many were also concerned with being people of color and attending a predominantly white institution (PWI). As a student that does attend a PWI, I shared with them that sometimes you have to be that person to go out of your comfort zone and show others that are like you that it’s ok.
I’m learning more and more that this field is all about taking chances as well as being prepared for any kind of situation. It is going to be really hard to return home but I know that I have to take what I’ve learned and try my best to apply it to my own leadership development. I am learning that there are many people that do not support me and the career path that I have chosen, but I am also learning that through the connections that I have made and through the many people that I have met in this field, there are some people that do believe in me as an aspiring professional and I am so thankful for them and their continued support.