For some of us, the academic break can be the busiest time of the year. Preparing for upcoming trainings, conferences, and orientation can all take up quite a bit of our time. Don’t forget those vacations we all like to squeeze in. But we also want to spend some time on our own professional development.
This year, those at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte have done a bit of this through day trips to other campuses. We have taken the time to visit Appalachian State University, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, and Duke University most recently. Now don’t get me wrong; it looks like we are just going on a field trip, but in reality it is a great experience. In particular for these trips we have had a targeted goal in mind. We have been making some changes to the way we handle our art gallery in addition to preparing to start our building’s art collection. These schools have been able to provide us with a wealth of information and examples.
But there is so much more you get out of these day trips. The time you spend in the car or van with your coworkers can prove invaluable. It is like a little retreat on the go. Sure you chat about your next vacation and what you have been doing outside of work, but you also have some conversations about the day-to-day operations that you may not normally have while in the office.
I recommend making some plans before the end of break if you can or start discussions on where you might go during other breaks this coming academic year. It is a great team building exercise as well as a networking opportunity with another campus.
Where have you been to this academic break? What are some ideas you are looking to take away from other campuses you visit?
is the Assistant Director, Administration and Support at University of North Carolina–Charlotte.
Sarah Stroud has been at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte since 2007. In her current position as assistant director, administration and support services, she oversees student employee hiring, onboarding, and training; union assessment; and social media. Prior to her current role, she oversaw the transition process during construction of the student union, which opened in 2009. Most recently, Sarah has served as the2011 conference co-chair for Region 5. In her “free” time, she can be found out at the ball fields watching her three new step-daughters play. She was married in August 2011.