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Absolutely Worth The Work

Absolutely Worth the Work

Patrick Walsh
IACAC Past-President
Illinois State University

It’s hard to believe how quickly the last three years have flown by. November 2016 is a month that I will never forget for many reasons, some good, some not so much. Looking back, I did not have any idea the impact saying yes to being nominated for President-elect of IACAC would have on my personal and professional life. In the spirit of the season, I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the Association, for the experiences I would not have otherwise grown from and the people who I met along the way that challenged me and taught me so much. I remember reaching out to several Past Presidents that November and asking the question, “If given the opportunity, would you say yes again?” The unanimous response was, absolutely, and if asked this question now, I would respond the same. (To be clear, this is not me seeking re-election.)

However, following the response of “absolutely” was important information that was relayed to me that I want to share. In all honestly, serving on the IACAC Executive Board is a lot of work, independent of the position. It is time consuming, stressful and humbling. It requires sacrificing time away from family, friends and your job, you know the one that pays the bills. It tests your patience, conflict resolution, organization and time management skills. It entails some late nights and early mornings, sitting in traffic on the way to meetings, reading/writing endless emails and the feeling, at times, that you will never catch up.

Sounds awesome, right? Well, before you withdraw that nomination you already said yes to, you also need to know that it is worth it. It is interesting, challenging and fulfilling all at the same time. It is teamwork, leadership development and a sense of belonging to something larger. The consistent support, the celebrations of the big wins and the recognition of the many great contributions of your colleagues are all part of this experience. No doubt it is a commitment, but one that affords you the chance to help make a difference in our profession and shape the future of college admissions.

Over the next month, I encourage all IACAC members to reflect on the direction they would like to see the Association move. Think about the voices that may be missing from our Board and the leaders you would like to see representing our membership.  Nominations are open through January 15, 2020. Please consider nominating a colleague or taking your next step with IACAC. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me personally or to any current members of the Executive Board with questions about what the open positions involve.

As my time as Past President winds down, I find myself valuing my IACAC experiences over the last three years more and more. It has been incredibly rewarding and provided me a chance to continue to learn and grow as a professional. I am glad I said yes, and you will be glad you said yes, too.

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