When the ISFAA Executive Board asked me if I would like to participate in the MASFAA Leadership Symposium I really had no idea what to expect. I thought I would just be going to an event that would be a great place to network with other leaders in the financial aid world. What I took away from the Leadership Symposium was much more!
I went in to this thinking, “What can I learn, I have been in a leadership role in financial aid for nearly seven years?” I learned that you can never stop learning to be a good leader. From the very first project I began understanding this was going to be more useful than I gave it credit. On Tuesday morning when we worked on “Building the Leadership Foundation” I learned that almost everyone in the room had the same worries, hopes, fears, and desire to accomplish their dreams. Learning how to incorporate social media into networking, and continuously educating myself in the financial aid world was something new for me.
I gained valuable resources from this experience. The connections I have made through this symposium have already helped me answer questions back at the office. Questions like how are other offices gearing up for prior/prior, and how are other colleges/universities preparing for new overtime rules that go into effect December 1, 2016.
What I gained most though was invaluable insight. I learned just as much if not more from my experience from those individuals who were aspiring to be leaders in the financial aid field. I was able to take away what those who I lead may be thinking but afraid to share. I took away what those aspiring leaders had to say and asked my employees their thoughts on the issues. I would recommend anyone whether they have been in financial aid for a year or a decade, if they aspire to be leader or have been a leader for years to attend these types of symposiums because the take away is priceless.
This post was submitted by Ron Herrell, Director of Financial Aid, Ivy Tech Community College North Central/Northwest