In the 1980s, my childhood years, Bob Hope regularly hosted Christmas and entertainment specials for U.S. Armed Forces on network television. Stars joined Bob Hope on his shows including Brooke Shields, Barbra Streisand, George Burns, Boy George, and many others. At the end of these entertainment specials, Bob Hope would sing his theme song, “Thanks for the Memories.”
As my last day at Carey is approaching, I am becoming sentimental. And, I keep thinking of all the wonderful times I have experienced while at Carey including aha moments, growth opportunities, and times when I was so proud of staff and students I thought I might burst. No blog post can provide enough space to list every great memory I have had while at Carey, but below are a few highlights. Note, not one of these moments occurred alone, but always in the company of people who make up the great Carey community.
Carey the Torch Blog: Anyone who knows me, knows I adore this blog. I think it is a great branding tool for Carey, a wonderful opportunity to celebrate student successes, and a platform for students to hone their writing skills and continue to master their personal pitches. Nothing makes me smile more than reading a staff or student piece that is uniquely their own and that they experienced while at Carey.
Career Development Office Mini-Retreat and Drafting the New Mission Statement: There is no better feeling than the one of a team coming together. You can feel it and the energy is undeniable. During its first retreat, CDO came together and made substantial changes to how Career Development was going to operate. We crafted a new mission statement, department name, team names, and approach to serving students. It was the beginning of a group of talented individuals coming together and working as one unit. Everyone was heard, respected, and participated in the change.
Carey Career Fair: After the first Carer Fair in spring 2015, I was able to look at every member of the team and feel complete pride. Everyone worked hard; there wasn’t one slacker. Everyone was exhausted, but happy at the same time. It was a moment when we all realized that if we put our minds and hearts to something, we could make it happen.
Carey Hackathon: I attended my first Hackathon in person in fall 2015. It was wonderful to see student leaders bring Baltimore City Public Schools students to campus for a full-day coding workshop. Witnessing our student leaders in action practicing business with humanity in mind was unforgettable.
Student Development Office Student Advisory Board Meetings: I am in constant amazement by the level of engagement student members bring to the board meetings. Their innovative ideas, constructive feedback, and interesting perspectives wow me every time we gather.
Student Treks: Two student treks left me speechless: Business of Entertainment (BOE) trek to Los Angeles, CA and Pan-Asian Career Association (PACA) Student Club Trek to Beijing and Shanghai, China. BOE and PACA club leaders exhibited strong and highly competent leadership resulting in two of Carey’s most successful student treks.
Summer Intensive: I will never forget hearing well-prepared and passionate students debate the assigned presidential debate topic of gun control. I came, I observed, I learned, and I left forever impressed.
And, last, but definitely not least, Student Development Staff. Most of our blog readers may not know that all SDO Staff have committed themselves to excellence above and beyond what is required during formal Carey mid-year and year-end reviews. SDO has initiated the SDO Standards of Excellence and every quarter staff meet with their assigned SDO Director and review if the following tenants of SDO Excellence are being met:
- Student centered
- Forward thinking
- Able to see the big picture
- Enthusiastic about the Carey, SDO, and my department’s missions
- Striving for continual improvement
- Use well documented procedures, standards, to make informed decisions
- Innovate and execute
Every day, while at Carey, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the brightest, most committed, strategic, and innovative individuals I have encountered in my professional life. I have seen them work long hours, weekends, and early mornings. But it is so much more than the time they put in—it is staff members’ commitment to improving the student experience that has made coming to work so enjoyable these past 3.5 years. I have observed academic advisors visit the 4th floor during lunch to catch up with students, student services team members advocate on behalf of student organizations to university administration, the financial aid department work one-on-one with students to answer difficult questions, and CDO team members work tirelessly to improve students job readiness and ability to connect with employers. SDO staff’s commitment to excellence will resonate with me for many years to come. Working with all of you has been a true privilege.
The last verse of “Thanks for the Memories” goes as follows:
Awfully glad I met you
Cheerio and toodle-oo
Thank you so much
I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Thank you so much!