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As summer approaches, high school seniors are considering the many academic routes available to them. Whether it be college, trade school, or a crash course in a relevant field, the path to endless opportunities begins with seeking knowledge.

That’s why National Higher Education Day couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time as it’s a day to advocate for higher education. This year, our team celebrates the many opportunities education brings to all our lives.

How we’re celebrating

In particular, the SSDM team members share fond photographic memories from undergraduate years as well as important essential skill lessons we use every day in our professional careers. Not just a single celebration for Higher Ed Day, we cherish the knowledge and experience we gained, as it makes us better every day. Here’s what SSDMers have to say on the subject.

Lessons we carry on at SSDM

“Listen to listen. Be in the moment” says Amber D. “Active engagement is a skill that can take you a long way.”

At MSU, Adam S. became comfortable asking questions to find solutions. “Whether in an email or talking with a professor after class, it helped me to be able to understand so much more, and I’ve carried this mentality to SSDM. Go Green!”

Stephanie F. shares her top soft skill: adaptability. Through courses at Michigan State, she learned the value of adapting to the different communication styles in every individual. She highlights the value in understanding how different people “might learn and grasp information that is presented.”

Patrick E. values the importance of framing in communication. He explains that the best results come from “using frames of reference your audience understands and has experience with.”

Lisa D., whose photo we just adore, delves into how confidence in oneself opens so many doors, noting “that the desire and ability to succeed comes from within.” She also valued the opportunity to connect and learn from peers, professors, and team members.

Nicole C. still carries her penchant for fact-checking. She states “Check your sources! I loved learning this in college. Is it a reputable article, fact, or peer-reviewed document? Let’s just say I was a late bloomer and a tiny bit naive. Now, I can bring this everywhere I go and especially to my team at SSDM.” 

Laura O. and Hanan A. are big fans of keeping things organized. Laura reflects on attending classes at WSU’s State Hall. 

“I became a note-taking maniac. Although I had attended a college-prep high school, I was rather unprepared for the deluge of info coming my way, so I had to learn how to take thorough, concise notes, fast!”

Hanan learned a great deal about team collaboration. “Throughout undergrad, I grew comfortable sharing my input and opening myself up to new opportunities. WSU was a phenomenal place to grow out of my shell.”

As a creative, Carissa W. learned how to give constructive feedback at Eastern Michigan University. “It was such a huge part of all my design classes and I use those skills that I learned daily.” 

Amanda F. share’s her team-building experiences at CMU: “I had some really amazing professors who pushed the importance of group work in their classes; it gave me a basic understanding of the dynamics of teamwork early on, and it really made an impact in my career.”

Sarah J. is all about confident leadership. Her time at CMU prepared her with countless growth opportunities. She says she was able to: “lead those around me in a positive and uplifting way, always striving to do and be better, transitioning into my post-graduate career path.”

Katie C., who is an incoming senior at CMU and SSDM summer intern, values engagement, and is always willing to ask questions. “Being an active listener provides a better understanding between me and members of the SSDM team and will let everyone know that their thoughts and ideas are heard and understood.”

Kierstynn L. learned how to effectively communicate her personal brand and career aspirations. “I know that GVSU taught me the ability to ‘sell my personal brand’ to those of higher authority in order to land not just any position within my career field, but a position at a company that matched well with me professionally, and where I could see opportunities for growth.”

Higher Education Day is about the values and educational experiences we all bring to our professional careers. We value our experiences and encourage you to reflect on the opportunities you had or aspire to have. The skills you learn will make you an ideal team member and leader in any industry you aim to pursue.

Wolverine Garry C. concludes, “As Bo would say, ‘The Team!’ … it’s all about the team.”