Student Success Story – Emily Whitaker ’22

How Emily Whitaker ’22 has worked towards her graduate degree with the support of family, friends, and campus organizations

Attending graduate school during a global pandemic was not easy, but nothing worth achieving usually is! As graduation approaches, I have been reflecting on my journey and everyone that has helped along the way:

  • Fleishman Staff: Without gaining internship experience at the Fleishman Center this semester, I would not have been as qualified for future opportunities, nor have had the knowledge to help me succeed. The staff here have been so supportive, from reading over my cover letters to doing mock interviews and then asking how my interviews went. Being in an office where everyone has such great career knowledge has been so helpful, allowing me to leave this program with such great insight. 
  • Extracurricular activities: The Student Affairs Graduate Association (SAGA) has played a huge role in my success in the Student Affairs Administration M.S. program. While participating on the executive board as Vice President, I was able to get direct experience with event planning for professional development, as well as truly get to know our members and build relationships. 
  • Graduate Assistantship: My experience as a GA in the Speaking Center has been one I will never forget, teaching me so many transferable skills to take into my next role. I have met great people and was able to further develop my passion for student affairs and communication simultaneously. My supervisor has become a mentor and someone I look up to as a role model in this profession. 
  • Family/Friends: My family has been a huge help these past two years, serving as my main support system while living back at home. I simply would not be here without them today. Also, my friends from my childhood, undergraduate school and now here at Binghamton have helped me in so many ways. 
  • Mentors: My mentors from undergraduate are the reason I am here pursuing a degree in student affairs. Without their active listening during career exploration conversations, probing career questions, and unlimited support, I would not even know this career was a path for me. 
  • Faculty: I have learned so much from my SAA courses, thanks to our amazing faculty. I have been challenged in many ways to venture outside of my comfort zone and for that I am grateful. I was able to go to my advisor during times when I needed an opinion from someone in the field, whether for course registration or job applications/offers. These professors have offered so much to all of us as students in the program, which has motivated me to continue learning. 

While I am in the midst of the interview process and am unsure about my next steps, I feel confident that I can succeed from everything I have learned in my graduate program. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone at Binghamton who has contributed to my educational experience! I am excited as graduation nears, but will also miss everyone involved and the journey it took to get here!

By Emily Whitaker
Emily Whitaker