Meet 2014 graduate Erin Edinger. Erin works with students every day and plays a key part in helping them have a healthy and happy campus experience. Hear how Erin was involved on campus as a student and how her passion has led her back to Valley City.
When did you graduate from VCSU?
Where are you working right now?
I am currently working at VCSU! I am the campus Director for Residence Life.
Tell us about some of the day-to-day activities in your current position.
The neat part about working in Residence Life is that it is a great mix of routine and daily adventures. There are regular administrative tasks such as keeping up with maintenance requests, reading reports from staff, and answering questions from prospective students. But there are also crazy and random things that pop up daily—squirrel catching, fake parking lot signs, room mediations, etc. that keep you on your toes. The mix seems to be a good fit for my love of spreadsheets and my need to not be contained to a desk all day.
What are your favorite parts about your field or job?
My favorite part of my job is hands-down the students I get to work with. The change and growth students experience during their time in college is incredible to witness and be part of. My student staff does a great job of learning how to balance the tough parts of enforcing campus policy with moments of genuine joy and connection with their residents. Residents are also very resilient in learning to adapt to their new collegiate environment. It is fun to see students thriving in their campus life.
Why did you choose to attend VCSU?
I chose to attend VCSU because of the small, close-knit environment it provides to students, faculty, and staff. Before I attended VCSU, I had an experience at another college where I was only ever known by my student ID number and could go entire weeks without someone acknowledging me or bothering to learn my name. My experience at VCSU was drastically different. I always felt seen, heard, cared for, and supported while at VCSU.
How did VCSU help shape and prepare you for your current position?
As an undergrad student, I was INVOLVED. IN. EVERYTHING. I was an RA, Viking Ambassador, Information Desk Night Manager, Orientation Leader, Student Senator (and eventually president), VCAB-er, and more. The activities were what kept me motivated from day to day. One day in my senior year it just hit me—the student affairs professionals on campus were making a living working with all of those extracurricular programs on a daily basis. The next day I applied for graduate school and eventually went on to earn my master’s degree in student affairs and college counseling, worked at a few other schools, and then ended up back at VCSU.
Why would you encourage prospective students to attend VCSU?
I would encourage prospective students to attend VCSU because of the people. Not only do we have nationally recognized academic departments, but the people working in those departments and on staff are second to none. Everyone has genuine care and concern for the students on campus and takes the time to get to know students on a personal level. Although many schools claim to offer this, few deliver this promise as well as VCSU.
What did you value most about your time at VCSU?
What I value most about my time at VCSU are the personal and professional connections I have made. I met some of my very best friends while living in McCoy Hall. I started working with some of my best mentors in the VCSU Student Center—and I now get to call them colleagues. VCSU helped me build a support system that has proven to be there for me years after I graduated.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about VCSU and your time here?
The most important lesson VCSU taught me is that you will get out of every experience what you have decided to put into it. The more effort you are giving a task, an assignment, a training, an event, etc., the better results you will see.