World Holds Its Breath as Higher Ed Candidate Prepares to Announce Job Acceptance

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by Irma Pelt
Senior Staff Writer

After months of job searching, Leslie Kilbride of Minnesota is gearing up to make a big announcement about where she’ll be for July training.

“I did the placement circuit,” said Kilbride. “I rocked the Oshkosh Placement Exchange in March, but I wasn’t really sold on the entire residence life thing.”

Kilbride also participated in placement processes hosted at the NASPA and ACPA conferences.

“I wanted to give myself all of the opportunity in the world. A lot of my friends stuck with one placement experience. If I did that, I would be depriving the student affairs community of my talent and skills. I want to find the place that’s best for me and the place that’s best for me to show off what I’ve learned,” said Kilbride.

“Narrow it down to one specific area? No way. I already narrowed down my career from all of those college majors to student affairs. I’m not limiting myself,” she said.

Kilbride said it was important to her that she join a team that has the respect of the student affairs community, but also a team composed of mediocre colleagues that would allow her to be the shining standout on staff.

“During my on-campus interviews, I asked senior student affairs officers to tell me about their background and who they hang out with at conferences. You know, like a reverse reference check on them. Prove to me you deserve me.”

Russell Minter, Kilbride’s graduate adviser at Secrist State University, will be participating in Kilbride’s announcement.

“She put together a 45 minute Prezi highlighting her graduate work, complete with pictures of her cohort and some of her students. We’re going to show it on Skype immediately following Student Affairs Chat (#sachat), a weekly chat that happens on Twitter on Thursday afternoons,” said Minter.

Kilbride said the Student Affairs Chat community has been invaluable to her during her search.

“They post all kinds of positions, things I never would have even considered doing and said that it’s okay to apply for things above your current level. I mean, I could be vice-president, right? And they’ve answered every question for me about what I should wear, what I should I say. A few of them even wrote my presentation for me for an on-campus interview,” said Kilbride.

For those who will not have computer access during the Skyped press conference, Kilbride has launched a new Twitter account that will alert followers of her final decision.

Asked whether he knew where Kilbride will be next year, Minter said he did not.

“Not officially, anyway,” Minter said. “But I only got called for one reference so I have a good idea. We’re all going to have to tune in and see, I guess.”