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Running head: NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION

Narrative Description
Jake Hartz
Seattle University
Portfolio
Erica K. Yamamura, Ph. D.

NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION

The Student Development Administration program has been a journey far more impactful
than what I had ever anticipated. It is because of the many leaders, mentors, and colleagues I
have had the pleasure of knowing throughout the past few years who have all been so dedicated
to my development, that I wanted to pursue a similar vocation. The SDA program was an
obvious next step to do so, and so began one of the most transformative experiences I have had
to date.
I felt like I entered the program not as proficient as many of my peers, both in terms of
experience and knowledge of academic frameworks specific to Student Affairs. I soon learned
that the premise of the Student Affairs profession revolves around transformative education and
essentially meeting people where are at, rather than an initial foundational academic base to
build upon. With that, the most important content I have gained from the SDA program stems
from Student Development Theory, Research, and Practice (SDAD5 578). Through Pope et al.
(1994) I have learned about the progression of my multicultural competence and have been able
to name my past, present, and future focus areas in terms of understanding my identities and their
impact on my work. I have also learned that Schlossbergs (1984) transition theory has been
central to not only my understanding of challenges associated with identity development and
professional transitions, but also in how to engage with students transitions within college.
The SDA program introduced me to a wide range of leaders within the Student Affairs
profession, however the leaders that influenced my growth most were found directly on campus.
Dr. Erica Yamamura, Erin Swezey, Monica Duke, and Sarah Thomson all challenged, supported,
and guided me through transitions, while encouraging me to dig deeper in every aspect of the
process. I have learned to accept these challenges as learning moments, and have gained a deeper

NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION

understanding of my identities and their influence on my ability to lead as a person and a


professional, regardless of the environment.
My internship at McKinstry, although unusual to Student Affairs programs, has provided
confidence in my abilities when I needed it most. McKinstry allowed me to utilize and adapt
SDA course content, program development, and leadership to a nontraditional setting. I learned
that regardless of the environment, students need developmental guidance, opportunities to do
so, and that many of the skills I had personally gained help with that in unique settings. My
internship in Seattle University Career Services is providing me with an opportunity to make
recommendations on program development or improvements based off of student survey results.
While the SDA program consistently emphasizes the importance of assessment to improve
practice, this internship allows me to actually impact programs based on gaps identified in
reported data. Through similar practices, my position as a Human Resources Coordinator at
McKinstry allowed me to improve McKinstrys internship program.
Overall, McKinstry provided the bulk of my professional experience during the SDA
program. At McKinstry, I was fortunate enough to gain a wide range of experiences as an
Internship Coordinator, Talent Acquisition Specialist, and Human Resources Coordinator. All
positions involved implementing, assessing, and reevaluating the summer internship program.
Throughout this process, I have been fortunate to observe exemplary leadership from multiple
individuals within the organization. I have come to realize the distinct difference between
managing and leading, primarily though both observing and exercising partnerships with
business units within the organization to achieve company objectives.
From my varying experiences both in a corporate setting and within the classroom
environment, I have come to understand the implications of my learning as attaining transferable

NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION

skills in leadership, multicultural competence, and assessment. All three of these areas have had
a profound impact on me as a professional and will inform how I work with students, whether
that be through a corporate internship office or a position in higher education.
I learned the from my experience and interactions with SDA alum, the program spans
much further than traditional student affairs roles and ventures into far more professional outlets
than students may initially perceive it to have. With that, the Jesuit values of the program have
made me reflect on how to best serve students in a various environments. The programs focus
on social justice forced me to take a necessary, critical look at my identities and how they impact
my ability and perceptions on how to work with increasingly diverse populations.

NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION

References
Pope, R. L., Reynolds, A. L., & Mueller, J. A. (2004). Multicultural competence in student affairs. San
Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Schlossberg, N. K. (1984). Counseling adults in transition. New York: Springer.