For all the challenges I face in my job from time to time, I can’t see myself working for any other place outside UCSB student affairs at this point in my career. It’s been more than a week since the Isla Vista tragedy and within that time, I’ve seen so many remarkable acts, events, selfless dedication by my colleagues and students that remind me of how remarkable UCSB community really is. I was further reminded of how blessed I am to be working in student affairs at UCSB during our divisional meeting when our Vice Chancellor Michael Young recounted all the amazing campus-wide collaboration in response to the tragedy. As he said “people just showed up and did what needed to be done.” He also acknowledged the leadership of the key individuals who were on the front line, moments after the incident.
It is during this time of the year, when I feel mixed emotions. I’m both happy to see the successes of our students and at the same time, I can’t help but feel sad that I will no longer seeing them, some of them of which I’ve seen grow since the first days of their classes at UCSB and whom I’ve developed mentor relationships with. I feel honored when students asks me to go to lunch and take the time out of their busy schedules preparing for finals and graduation to chat before they leave. I feel honored when a couple of graduating seniors I just met a month ago wanted to have lunch with me.
I have a great job and I’m very proud to say that. At the end of the day, in spite of the challenges of the job, what an honor it is to be able to serve the students and to be able to play a part in their lives. As VC Michael Young said this morning, “It’s often the personal connections that matter in the lives of our students.” I think he captured the essence of why I love my job. Through technologies, I help serve the UCSB community so students may successfully navigate the university and prepare them for their careers and develop as human beings. However, it is through the personal connections I’ve made with the few students that really makes me realize how blessed I am to be in a position wherein I can make a difference in their lives.