Daily30: From Actuarial Science to Higher Education.

Assalamualaikum,

Hello again. For today’s Daily30 blog challenge (yes, that’s what we’re calling it now), I actually did a poll on Twitter to find a topic to write about. The topics I put up in the poll were either posts I’ve been meaning to write, or things people asked me on Ask.fm (but were never answered yet), or just things I found on random blog-posts-ideas on Google. And the good thing is, they’re pretty broad, so I can write about anything I want related to them.

52 Twitter-ers (?) (+3 people who voted via Instagram) have spoken.

52 Twitter-ers (?) (+3 people who voted via Instagram) have spoken.

Today’s topic: Working life.

I’ve lost count of how many people have asked me the same question:

“Why didn’t you pursue your actuarial career?”

Back when I was a sophomore (that’s 2nd year of college for all you who may not be familiar with the American system), I was in my oh-shit-is-this-really-for-me phase. Sure, I registered for an actuarial exam, thinking that, “oh, maybe this is it, this is what my life would be for the next 5-10 years, sitting for actuarial papers, doing numbers and calculating risks and all that stuff”.

I failed that paper, by the way, which is actually understandable considering I took it in the same week (or the week after, I can’t recall) of my final exams, so I didn’t study as much as I should’ve. ‘Twas a bummer, I admit, but that kind of got me thinking about whether or not I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.

I did try to go for a couple of job shadows or employers networking sessions or companies visit (visited M3 Insurance firm, job shadow in Chicago, countless networking sessions and information talks in the Business School), but somehow nothing clicked with me.

Then, I sat down and think, what is it that I wanted to do with my life? And I realized that I loved working with students. There was something about working with students that made it fun, so I decided to look into it.

Talked to a few people throughout junior/senior year, mostly to my professor (Julia Rutledge, who taught me Educational Psychology, the class where I wrote this paper btw), the International Student Services advisor (& volunteer coordinator, Brianna Cacchione), career advisors (both at the Business School and the Cross-College Advising Services – where I actually broke down into tears when I met her).

And I decided that, okay, this is where life will take me. Perhaps this is where I belong.

Student Services / Student Affairs / Higher Education.

Call it what you want, but it’s essentially the same thing. I want to work in a place where I can contribute to a student’s success – either academically, socially or professionally. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in a university setting (like I am at right now), but as long as it provides me with the opportunity to work and interact with students, I’m all up for it.

When I got my first job at Monash University Malaysia as a Course Executive [or Administrative Executive (Course Administration), which is probably a more formal name for my position], I was both excited and grateful. It has only been 8 months into this job, and I know I can’t really say much yet, but so far, it has been a very enriching and meaningful experience.

Not only that it is my first experience with a Malaysian university (albeit a private one), it gives me an insight to learn more about the administrative side of an education institution. And let me tell you – I’m now super grateful to all the administrative staff that made my college life an easier journey.

When I was a student, I never realized how much work and effort were put into every single thing that happened in a university. The advisors working hard being the scenes, the amount of detail needed to schedule out class and examination timetables, the assessments of applications and graduations and all that hassle.

But now that I get to experience it first hand, it’s a whole new feeling, and I’m much more appreciative of all the help that I was given in college – by my professors, my advisors, and everyone else working there to make the students’ college experiences better.

Last month at work, we’ve just had one of our busiest time of the year – orientation of the new February intake students. As the person in charge of the orientation for the School of Business students, it was definitely a challenge for me – more so because it was my first time coordinating and managing such an important and huge event, but thankfully it went well and we get to welcome more than 420+ new Business students.

My other responsibilities at work this year include coordinating the applications for the inter-campus exchange programs (for Monash Malaysia students planning to do a semester exchange to Monash Australia campuses), which we’ve just managed to complete today. I felt sorry for rushing my colleagues a little in assessing the applications that we received from the students (since the students’ deadline to submit the applications to us was yesterday at 5pm), but thankfully we managed to assessed all the applications by today and I get to send it off to Monash Australia for approval before I left work for the weekend (phew, that’s one less thing to worry about this weekend!)

Okay, my WordPress word count is almost hitting 900 words (& will definitely be more with this paragraph), and it’s been 30-minutes, so I guess I’m done for today. If you would like to join in and vote for tomorrow’s topic, do head over to my Twitter page and submit your vote!

Until tomorrow’s Daily30 post, good night and stay awesome!

March 16, 2018
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