Graduate Assistant Lindsay Brown Appreciates the Opportunities to Grow as a Student Affairs Professional

Graduate Assistant, Lindsay Brown, Appreciates the Opportunities to Grow As a Student Affairs Professional.

Student Affairs is not necessarily a common profession for undergraduate students to pursue. In most cases, students are unaware of this field and the possibilities it yields. That was certainly the case for Lindsay Brown, a current graduate student in the Counseling and Student Personnel department. It wasn’t until her senior year of college that she identified her passion and interest in Student Affairs and decided to pursue a career in this field.

Lindsay, a chemistry major at the University of Minnesota–Morris, was planning to go to pharmacy school after earning her bachelor’s degree. As an undergraduate, she worked for student activities and became involved on numerous campus committees. She was able to learn about activities and experiences that she could share with students “outside” of the classroom.

At the beginning of her final year at Morris, Lindsay started to ask her mentor in Student Activities more questions about his line of work and the field of Student Affairs. As a result, she attended an undergraduate conference for Careers in Student Affairs hosted by the Minnesota College Personnel Association (MCPA). That conference helped Lindsay confirm what her next steps would be following graduation. She was still going to continue her education, but it was going to happen in another field: Student Affairs.

Before she graduated, Lindsay came to Minnesota State University, Mankato for an on-campus interview with the Counseling and Student Personnel department, which runs the College Student Affairs master’s program. While visiting campus, she was impressed with the professors and the radiating passion for teaching and developing students that radiated from them. Lindsay could also tell that the current students in the program truly enjoyed their experiences, which energized her.

During her graduate school search process, Lindsay knew that graduate school was going to require a large financial commitment. She was hoping to find a graduate assistantship that would provide professional development opportunities and assist with the overall cost. Lindsay was thrilled when she was offered an interview for a graduate assistantship with Residential Life at Minnesota State Mankato.

For the last year and half, Lindsay has moved into the Student Service Coordinator role. Her responsibilities include managing the front desk of McElroy Residential Hall, preparing for residence opening and closing, monitoring security, residential hall occupancy management and providing student enhancement activities.

During the second year of the master’s program, students are required to complete an internship. Lindsay has found her second internship site home in the Office of Student Affairs at Minnesota State Mankato an experience that has given her perspective on a broader spectrum of student affairs issues as well as higher education. She is excited to be working on a sophomore communication project to improve student retention.

In Lindsay’s short time in Mankato, she has had an impact on the students, peers, staff and faculty she works with. Dr. Penny Rosenthal, one of Lindsay’s professors and advisor, states, “Lindsay is one of the most calm and calming College Student Affairs students I have ever met. She is a strong team member who can easily lead or contribute in meaningful ways to a group and a group’s leadership. Lindsay has an exceptional work ethic and consistently produces high quality course work and participates in meaningful ways to class discussions. Finally, it is apparent that Lindsay enjoys her life, school, and work – this makes her a joy to work and laugh with.”

As Lindsay nears graduation and reflects upon her time as a student in the program and as a young professional in the field, she feels that the College Student Affairs master’s program has given her the foundation and knowledge she needs to embark on her professional career. Lindsay also appreciates her graduate assistantship and internship; each of those experiences have given her great experiences that she can bring into her next career move.

As she nears graduation in May, she has started her job search around the Mankato area.

This story highlights students, faculty, staff, and/or events from Student Affairs Offices fostering big ideas and real-world thinking on campus and in the community.