Many people have been asking me, why did I choose to spend my summer at NASPA? Why not find work on a campus in orientation or housing? When I started my search for a summer internship, that is exactly where I started. I thought I should broaden my horizon and leave the Fraternity and Sorority Life work behind for the summer, so I began to turn to orientation and housing internships. As I began to apply, however, I saw the announcement for the NASPA summer internship. While orientation and housing internships would expose me to new areas of the standard student affairs division on a campus, a NASPA internship would expose me to a whole other side of the profession. While we very often think of student affairs as being a campus-based profession, there is so much that goes on off campus – through professional organizations, vendors, private organizations (ie: LeaderShape, inter/national fraternity headquarters) – all of which the profession could not succeed without. I thought an internship at NASPA would be a neat opportunity to experience the off-campus aspect of student affairs, especially looking at the role that the leading student affairs professional organization plays in the field.
But I’m just spending 2 quick months at NASPA and will return to a campus very soon, which is nothing compared to the professionals who dedicate their careers to NASPA, some of which have been on the NASPA staff for ten plus years. When I started in the office almost a month ago, one of my favorite questions to ask each staff member was “so how did you end up at NASPA?” In a field that many assume is just about what happens on campus, what made these professionals decide to leave the campus setting to come to NASPA?
So, I pose that question to the NASPA staff and am asking them to comment on this blog. Why NASPA?