By Chris Kawakita, Illinois Wesleyan University; and Zak George, DePaul University
Now with over 100 alums total, IACAC’s Middle Management Institute has provided a detailed look at what it means to be an engaged communicator and leader, the challenges and successes of effective middle managers, the differences between managing and leading, and how to best demonstrate your skill set on a resume and in an interview. Through the first session—an assessment of an individual’s leadership and communication characteristics—our participants not only discover more about their own style, but also those of their supervisors and peers. This information gives participants an opportunity to apply what they are learning and better navigate future conversations about their professional growth, development and contribution to their admissions operation. As noted above, the opportunity to visit with current leaders in the field gives attendees an “all-access pass” to ask the tough questions that they may not feel comfortable asking in their own office. MMI also extensively explores the role of enrollment managers within college admissions, so as to provide participants with additional perspectives and options within higher education.
Through a responsive and adaptable curricular design, MMI provides ample opportunities for its participants to better articulate their career goals and navigate their next professional steps. Many of our alums, upon completing MMI, have reported back that they had productive conversations with their supervisors about how they want to contribute to their current team soon after they returned back to their office. These graduates have worked with their managers to define their next steps, and many have shared that their efforts have been rewarded with increased recognition and promotions.
In the most recent update on the tracking of the career development of alums from the first three programs, the committee has found—and is pleased to report—that over 90% of past participants are still in higher education, and that nearly half of all participants have been promoted post-MMI. Our organization benefits from our ability to continue to find ways to cultivate these leaders by keeping them in the profession and in higher education. Beyond promotions from their individual offices or movement within higher education, we have also found our alumni to be more active within IACAC, CARR, NACAC, and other professional organizations because of their desire to gain new skills, become more engaged in the profession, and give back to the association.
We had a successful MMI 2014 in June at Augustana College, with two promotions already reported in the past month, and look forward to following the success of the rest of this class in the coming year.