NECPA Graduate Spotlight February 2021 – Amanda Higgins

Smiling young woman (Amanda Higgins) in sweater.

Name:  Amanda Higgins

School: University of Connecticut

Program:  Higher Education and Student Affairs

Type: Master’s

Current employer: UConn Center for Students with Disabilities – Assistantship

What do you love about working there?

I love the opportunity to communicate with a wide variety of individuals. I also love the challenge of managing complex processes.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I typically travel as much as possible. During this pandemic I have been spending a lot of time on YouTube watching cooking channels.

What is your favorite grad school course/experience and why?

My favorite courses and experiences were our Practicum courses. These experiential learning courses were awesome opportunities to work in other offices on campus while focusing on growing my skillset and professional network. I did two practicums in academic advising offices, which set me up for success in the job search.

Who/what inspired you to get involved in higher education?

As an undergrad I worked with some awesome individuals working in student affairs so when I was looking for a career change I had great mentors to help me make the switch to higher ed. I also knew I enjoyed working with college students and I felt supported in the switch from corporate life to higher ed.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in your career (so far)?

No two students are the same! It’s important to meet students where they are and adjust my advising style to meet their needs.

What advice would you offer to those who are starting to search for grad programs?

Identify what your goal is for your role after grad school. If you would like a more advising or counseling based role, make sure the program you choose incorporates those components. Additionally, I would recommend speaking to current students in the program about what their typical days look like and any information they can provide about the program.

Do you have someone you’d like to be featured as NECPA’s graduate student of the month? Nominate them here!

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