Bronco Spotlight: Adrienne Fraaza

Bachelor of Arts in communication, 2015; Master of Arts in educational leadership, 2017

Current Job Title:

Interim Director, Office of Student Transitions

Current Employer:

Western Michigan University 

Describe your current job:

The Office of Student Transitions oversees Orientation, Fall Welcome, First-Year Seminar, Transfer Student Services, Adult Learner support, and Foundation Scholars. I'm responsible for the overall strategic vision and implementation of these programs, including supervising the program managers, budget management, and creating a work culture that values and promotes excellence and collaboration.

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

We have an incredible team of student employees who are very hands-on with our programs. I love seeing them develop in their leadership roles; they bring so much to our team. I also love taking something good and making it great, so when we accomplish a goal - either something new or an improvement - it's very rewarding to see our work pay off.  The most challenging part is keeping a lot of balls in the air at once.  I've always worked ahead on projects, but now my work has shifted to more of a focus on what's most pressing, so I'm growing in my mindset about how I approach prioritization.

What experiences impacted the choice of your career path? 

I chose my undergrad degree (Broadcast & Cable Productions) with no clear direction, and it wasn't something I was really passionate about. However, I became very involved on campus as an undergrad. I was a Bronco Days Ambassador and Co-coordinator, Orientation Student Leader, RA, worked at WIDR, and did Alternative Spring Break and study abroad. I loved those experiences, but it never occurred to me that I could make a career out of it. Several years after becoming Fall Welcome program manager, I realized my passion was working with college students and developing them into leaders. I realized that my career home was in higher ed, thus I started the Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate program. The co-curricular experiences I had as an undergrad played an important role in getting me to where I am today. 

What advice do you have for students looking for their career after college? 

Get to know yourself - who are you at your natural core? What are your natural skills and talents? What are your beliefs, and what gets you excited? Engage in the process of self-discovery and find careers that align with those values, abilities, and passions.  

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