April 8, 2013

Looking Forward: Masters in Higher Education Administration

By UW Dream Project

Looking Forward is a new series where we highlight various post-grad opportunities for senior mentors in Dream Project who want to stay connected to the world of education, leadership, and mentoring. This post is from Kelly Hoeft, a former Dream Project member who went on to pursue a Master’s in Higher Education Administration.

My name is Kelly Hoeft and I graduated from the UW in 2009 and actively participated in Dream Project (DP). DP has been played a pivotal role in my life and college experiences. I hope that my knowledge and experiences can provide you with insights about post undergrad opportunities.

I started my undergrad as a Visual Communication Design (VCD) major and switched my major during my senior year to Sociology and then pursued my Master’s in Higher Education Administration from University of Michigan. This process has led me to my current position at the UW School of Social Work in the Office of Student Services. I changed my major because of Dream Project as I realized my passion for education.Since undergrad here are a few things that I’ve learned…

I’m still able to bridge aspects of my creativity and VCD by applying concepts and design thinking towards improving processes in my work. Similarly to Dream Project, I’m able to serve as a mentor by supervising student staff as well as providing direction to students completing their BASW/MSW degree. Thus, I’m able to bridge connections and integrate my strengths in order to make meaningful contributions to my work.

My investment in graduate school expanded the way I think and challenged me, both personally and professionally. Since I was raised in Seattle and the surrounding area, moving to the Midwest was a huge change and a big leap outside my comfort zone. Sometimes uncomfortable and challenging changes are scary, but these moments have allowed me to grow substantially, helped me to learn things about myself, and prepared me to take on greater challenges.”You are the company you keep” is a phrase that I commonly reference. I try to find people that help support my vision on what I want to pursue. I’ve learned that informational interviews are great for further defining my interests and strengths as well as seeing how I can apply my skill sets. As such, I’ve utilized LinkedIn to network and arrange informational interviews and I ask colleagues/professors/professionals if they recommend anyone else for me to speak with further. As always, I hope this information is helpful. I’m happy to meet with any Dream Project members as you are navigating your academic and career goals. Please feel free to contact me at hoeftk05@uw.edu.

-Kelly Hoeft

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