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Campus jobs influence career choices

By Rose Gause I Mass Communication '20
Social Marketing Team writer 
4/26/2018
 
Many students are hired to work in various job positions throughout Frostburg State University. Some students view their campus jobs as a way to gain experience in their area of study while others view it as no more than an opportunity to make some extra cash. Sarah Bernhardt and Brooke Erickson found their student affair affiliated jobs on campus so fulfilling that they have decided to further their education in student affairs in order to pursue it as a career. 
 
Bernhardt is a senior pursuing a degree in recreational parks management with a concentration in community program delivery. She is a founding brother of Phi Sigma Pi, a bobcat ambassador, a student success mentor, a sister of Delta Zeta, and the Greek Relations Chair for Delta Zeta.
  
Since her sophomore year, she has worked as a program assistant in the Office of Student Activities and Greek Life. This position has recently turned into her full-time senior internship. Her job duties include, but are not limited to: planning events, assisting Late at Lane staff, and helping students become leaders. 
 
Bernhardt initially came to Frostburg to pursue athletic training. Once she was hired in the Office of Student Activities and Greek Life, she realized she will always love helping people, but she had a passion for helping students, planning events, and civic engagement. So, she decided to change her major to recreational parks management because it has a lot of programming, event planning, and is customer service oriented.  
 
Bernhardt is grateful she met people like Robert Cooper, Director of Student Activities and Greek Life, who serves as her mentor, Dr. Terri Massie-Burrell, former Assistant Provost, who served as her orientation instructor, and Dr. Diane Blankenship, FSU professor, who serves as her advisor.
  
“I don’t think I would have had the same opportunities at a different university. Frostburg has provided me with a lot. The support that I have received from faculty and staff members has pushed me in the direction of student affairs and helped me realize that is what I wanted to do,” says Bernhardt.  
 
After Bernhardt graduates in May, she will be pursuing her Masters of Arts in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. While at IUP, she will be working as a graduate assistant in the Student Affairs Masters’ Program Office.  
 
“I think going out of state is really going out of my comfort zone, but doing something I know I’m passionate about excites me. I already feel like I have the skill set of a student affairs professional, but getting the title, background, history, law, and all the knowledge of what student professionals do will help to set me up for a career in student affairs,” says Bernhardt. 
 
Brooke EricksonBrooke Erickson is a senior pursuing a degree in mass communication with a minor in public relations and a focus in event planning. She is a sister of Delta Zeta, a member of the College Panhellenic Council, and has worked as the event manager for the Late at Lane production team since her junior year. Over this past summer, she worked on campus planning events the 2017-2018 Late at Lane. 
 
Erickson initially wanted to pursue teaching and a different aspect of event planning at FSU. 
 
“I love my job on campus working for Late at Lane and planning the events. I knew I wouldn’t like teaching in a classroom so I thought about ways I could impact students in a different way," says Erickson.  
 
“I wanted to be an event planner, but now I kind of see it from a different side. I wouldn’t be planning the events, but I would be helping students plan events on campus. To me that is more beneficial than just me planning events,” says Erickson.  
 
Erickson is grateful that Kyrie Kirn, former Assistant Director of Student Activities; Jamie Winters, Assistant Director of Greek Life; and Cooper helped her come to the realization that student affairs is the perfect career route for her. She is also glad she was able to attend the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) to see how other college campuses organize their events. 
 
“Through the College Panhellenic Council, I have learned to socialize with other people. Through my leadership opportunities within DZ and Late at Lane, I have learned to work with a bunch of different people… I realized maybe I could use what I’m doing now for my career and help people. I got a lot of help from my mentors and I want to be that for someone else, says Erickson.  
 
Erickson will be moving to Edwardsville, Illinois in July and attending Southern Illinois University -  Edwardsville where she will be earning her Master of Science Education in College Student Personnel Administration. While at SIUE she will be working as a graduate assistant in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.  
 
After graduating from SIUE, she wants to move to the south and work in student affairs at a public college or university.  
 
“I basically want to be Coop when I grow up. I want to do what he does. I want to be involved with students, but also plan events on the campus I work for, says Erickson. 
 

 

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