Advancing toward a career

Aug 16, 2013

Jessica KiddWhen Jessica Kidd joined Heidelberg’s phone-a-thon her freshman year, she was just looking for a campus job.

For the next two years she worked as the student supervisor, adding leadership work and attending Office of Institutional Advancement events. It all came naturally to her. “I love hearing stories from alums about what campus was like for them,” she said. “It’s also fun to share my campus experiences with alums who can’t make it back to campus.”

Jessica’s on campus experience includes being a member of the Student Alumni Association (SAA), Psi Chi psychology honorary, Alpha Lambda Delta, and serving as an RA.

As a class representative for the SAA, Jessica has gone to alumni and prospective student events. “We’re there to bridge that gap between alumni and new students,” she said.

This fall semester Jessica will be taking her interest in advancement one step further by interning with Heidelberg’s Office of Institutional Advancement through funding from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Jessica was one of eight students from across the country to be selected as a Clarence J. Jupiter Fellow. CASE funds these fellows to continue their advancement experience at their host institution. Jessica will be able to expand her work with Heidelberg’s Alumni Office and get paid by CASE to do so.

The kickoff to her fellowship with CASE was attending the 40th Annual Network Convention in New Orleans last weekend. During her three days at the conference, she was able to network with CASE administrators, attend sessions on important IA topics, and have dinner with the Clarence family who sponsors the fellowship program. “I had a great time and came away with a heightened passion and appreciation for the advancement field,” she said.

Some of her favorite sessions were focused on raising awareness about the importance of IA, ideas on how to appreciate supporters, and master’s options in higher education.“I now have one million and one ideas I want to implement at Heidelberg,” she said. “It gave me a direction for this fall.”

That direction includes greater outreach through the Student Alumni Association and organizing an appreciation event. “I want to raise awareness for giving and show appreciation to our current supporters,” she said.

With her senior year about to begin, Jessica is already looking at graduation. One option she is considering is continuing into graduate school for a Masters in Higher education. She feels her background in psychology would be an asset to the advancement field because psychology has helped her understand people and learn to connect with different personalities. “Advancement is about making connections,” she said. “Finding out what’s the best way to connect with you.”

With four years of experience connecting with Heidelberg faculty, staff, students, and alums, should she choose to pursue a career in advancement, Jessica will have many supports behind her.