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Liberal Arts Graduates

Tiffany Sandifer

What I do now:
I am currently employed at Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) in the Office of Student Life. This job is a perfect fit for me because it blends my love and talents for so many things: people, leadership, communication, student involvement and event planning. My job is more than assisting students, it is about building relationships, encouraging them in their endeavors, helping them develop leadership skills, and instilling a "can do" attitude.

My work/job consists of:
The core mission of the Office of Student Life is to provide programs and services which will aid and enrich the educational and cultural experiences of the student body. This is achieved through activities, events, educational programs, student organizations, and exposure to awareness and diversity. All of these things work hand in hand to help create learning experiences outside of the classroom. My favorite part is by far working with students in a leadership capacity!

Path to my current career position (how I got from the past to the present):
As an undergraduate student, I was always active in campus life. At BPCC, I served as an orientation leader, student recruiter, and as Ms. BPCC. At LSUS, I was an active member in Phi Mu Fraternity, the LSUS Student News, LEAD, LEAD CORPS, Ms. LSUS, and Rotaract. Each of these organizations (and their advisors) often pushed me out of my comfort zone. I went from an interested student to a committed student, and found myself assisting and eventually planning events on the LSUS campus. The first large scale event that I planned on my own at LSUS was the Public Speaking, Polish, and Professionalism Workshop. The leadership and management skills that I gained working with student organizations paved the way for me to find a home in student life!

How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS):
After earning my Associate of General Studies (AGS) from Bossier Parish Community College, one of my biggest desires was to continue at an institution that would give me all of the opportunities of a four-year college at a fraction of the cost. LSUS fit the bill perfectly! I was able to stay in my hometown, live at home, and get my degree - all without ever having to take out a student loan! LSUS has wonderful scholarship opportunities, and I encourage students to apply for them.

Fond memories of LSUS:
Some of my fondest memories at LSUS would include the Phi Mu Philanthropy Car Show for Children's Miracle Network, working late nights and hours in the Student News lab, serving as the PR chair for the Black Tie or Not Ball (put together by LEAD and Rotaract), being selected as 1 of 4 students to represent LEAD at the National Character and Leadership Symposium at the US Air Force Academy, being named as Ms. LSUS 2011, and serving as a student mentor for the LEAD Summit!

LSUS faculty who helped me:
My two favorite instructors at LSUS were Mary Jarzabek (aka - Ms. J) and Wayne Hogue. I had both of these teachers for multiple classes and they would always encourage and push me out of my comfort zone. These two individuals really believed in me and what I was capable of. They never let me settle for less than my best, and that is something that I have carried with me ever since!

How LSUS helped me succeed:
LSUS helped me succeed because it gave me the tools that I needed to be successful. A college education is more than a piece of paper. It is study hours, tough assignments, learning new skills, and out-of-the-classroom and hands-on-experiences that help build and shape your character. I learned the value of organization, time-management, to be a team-player, how to act professionally, to always give everything my best shot. These traits have made it easy for me to find a job in several different fields.

Advice to college-bound students:
Get involved! Find something that is of interest to you, reach out to the advisor, and attend a club meeting. Introduce yourself to classmates and professors. Let them know what your ambitions and goals are, and along the way you will find those people who truly support and encourage you. Challenge yourself to breach your comfort zone, try new things, and never skip an opportunity to serve your school. Take chances, get up every time you fall, and never give up. This road isn't easy, but it sure is rewarding when you cross that stage!

Advice to someone who wants to enter my field:
If you are interested in working in student activities one day, be involved! That is the single best piece of advice I can give. Being a member of student organizations challenges you in ways that you would not expect. It teaches you a great deal of time management, leadership skills, and how to work well with others. When I applied for my job, I didn't have traditional job experience related to student affairs. Instead, I had a resume that showed all of the hard work and dedication I put into my time as an undergraduate. That's what landed me this job!

Tips on choosing a major or career:
Find something that you are passionate about. It will make your college experience and your future career much more enjoyable. I have always had an innate love for people, mentoring, coaching, and leadership. My degree allowed me to sharpen my communication skills and my involved outside of the classroom helped cement my decision to work in higher education!

Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life:
Recipient of the John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

I've learned this from life:
Take chances, be bold, and don't let opportunities pass you by! In my line of work, I often hear people say that they wish that they had done things differently or that they had taken a chance on something. Be very aware of the opportunities that surround you and know that many wonderful things can occur if you are audacious.

 
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