NECPA Graduate Spotlight May – Jordan Swift

Smiling woman in graduation attire.

Name: Jordan Swift

School:  Providence College

Program: Higher Education

Type: Master’s

Current employer:  Complex Director at Providence College

What do you love about working there?

No matter where I work, I always look for two things: Is the mission infused in the department? Could I learn from my coworkers and could my coworkers learn from me? In the three months that I have worked at Providence College, the Friars sure have surpassed that expectation! The Vice President of Student Affairs at Providence College announced that professional staff members will be provided the opportunity to participate in the Flourishing Friday’s program. Flourishing Fridays are for staff members to truly understand human flourishing by connecting with others and recharging outside of the work environment. As a new employee, I have been so fortunate to have met and connected on a deeper level through laughter playing dodgeball or wiffleball. This Flourishing Friday program symbolizes the cultural importance of building community and getting to know another staff member’s diverse story while engaging in fun and healthy activities.

How do you like to spend your free time?

Having mindful moments. Taking in every new conversation over coffee while listening to the sweet sounds of Dave Matthews Band.

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

I loved my Foundations of Higher Education course because it was the first time that I was able to connect theory to practice. The course was designed around a forty-page paper encompassing the creation of a college of our choosing. We were able to design our own mission statement, explore areas of the field that we were unfamiliar with, and discover our “why”. I was able to ask myself: What am I passionate about in the field? Who can I learn from next?

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

Student affairs is a truly holistic field. There are days when you want to cry or days when you just want to hug everyone that you see. You learn crisis management. You learn how to interact in a truly special way. You learn about equity disparity. As a values and mission-driven person, I found mentors in the field who were constantly challenging me to think about these aspects of life that you cannot learn in any other field. I thought: Why not learn about life while working?

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

Life is never linear. Talk. Ask questions. A lot of them. Be genuine. Always.

What is on your Higher Ed bucket list?

Meeting the mindfulness guru, Jon Kabat-Zin!

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

I have three “finds”: 1. Find a school that reflects your values and mission. 2. Find people who will smile with you. 3. Find a school that connects your personal story with academics.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

You never know who will be interviewing you for your dream job. In my experience, get to know your classmates, your professors, your staff members, your colleagues, and your students.

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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