Thursday, October 6, 2011

Member Spotlight: Kayla Ford

Hometown: Lorena, Texas     
College(s) Attended: The University of Texas at Austin
Degree(s) earned: BBA in Marketing and M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration (College and University Student Personnel Administration)
Title:  Senior Academic Advisor- McCombs School of Business
What are your hobbies? Reading, crafts, and travelling

What was your favorite childhood toy?  My Little Pony and Rainbow Brite

What is your current position at UT? Briefly explain. Senior Academic Advisor, McCombs School of Business;  I advise and maintain a caseload of business students, serve as a department liaison, create the content for weekly caseload messages, serve as a FIG facilitator, and co-coordinate the McCombs new student orientation program.

Have you had any jobs prior to your current job at UT?  If so, what were they? As an undergraduate student, I had the opportunity to work as an Orientation Advisor. In this role, I worked directly with new students and pre-advised business students. Directly out of college, I worked as a Technical Recruiter/Community Relations Director for a high-tech staffing company in Austin. During that time, I also worked part-time at Sylvan Learning Center as a teacher and SAT Prep class instructor. In August 2007, I decided to go back to graduate school and worked for 2 years as a Graduate Assistant in Student Activities and Leadership Development (now Student Activities) working with/developing leadership programs. During that time, I did several internships, including with BBA International Programs and BBA Career Services. In 2009, I got a full-time position working as a Coordinator of Leadership Development for the University of Texas Leadership and Ethics Institute (LEI). I worked with LEI in the Office of the Dean of Students until starting my current position in McCombs this August.
What is the most challenging aspect of your current job? Currently, the most challenging aspect of my job is transitioning from a Student Affairs role to an academic setting. With that said, I also think this is one of the most exciting aspects of my current job as I hope to use my knowledge/experience to bring those two areas closer together in order to better serve students and enhance their overall college experience.
Why/How did you decide to work in an institution of higher education?  I loved everything about my own college experience and I enjoy working in an environment that is designed to help students explore their passions, engage in decision-making/critical thinking, and develop into their own person. The student affairs professionals and advisors in my life were crucial to my success and I hope to impact students in the same way as they embrace their college journey.

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