I’ve been fortunate to spend quite a bit of time on a number of campuses over the past month. My recent zigzagging across the United States allowed me to hit 1 million airline miles on United Airlines and included the passage of the sixth anniversary of TVP Communications. While these two milestones held significance for me, it was the opportunity to inventory the amazing work being done by faculty and administrators and the benefits to students that made my heart happy.
I mention this not only as the firm’s Pollyanna, but also because it has only been a week since my last trip and that happiness has started to wear off. I find myself, as many of our colleagues do, so bogged down by my day-to-day to-do list that I’m quickly forgetting to appreciate the big and small things that just last week gave me joy. For that reason, I am making myself inventory what I’m thankful for this holiday season.
I am thankful for the TVP Comms team. I don’t tell them often enough, but I am blessed to be surrounded by an amazing group of women. While I’m flying and visiting, they keep our work moving forward. I couldn’t ask for more from each of them or as a collective whole and I am always impressed with their wit (Erin), compassion (Kristine), intelligence (Ali), tenacity (Cristal) and warmth (Kylie).
I am thankful that there is always something new to tackle. As soon as we think we’ve seen it all, higher education finds a way to bring a new situation or challenge into our lives. The list of “you’ll never believe what happened today!” stories grows each year, but we respect our nondisclosure agreements and keep these tales to ourselves ;).
I am thankful for the breadth of expertise in higher education. It is impossible for me to visit a campus, talk to faculty and not learn something new. Our campuses house amazing people who are conducting research and generating scholarship that is fascinating. In the past two weeks I’ve learned about authenticating Chinese tapestries, Sharia law, new methods for teaching language acquisition, team identity, the motivation of thrill seekers and many other topics. How lucky am I? Not only do I get paid to learn about the universe—literally—but I also am gearing up for my next Trivial Pursuit challenge.
I am thankful I’ve had the opportunity to travel our country. I had only visited eight or nine states before I started working as a consultant. I can now say I am quickly closing in on visiting all 50 states and hundreds of campuses. And I don’t have a favorite campus size, location or profile– I love all of them and their students.
I am thankful for our campus and industry partners. I know that our clients trust us with their reputations, personally and professionally, when they work with us. I am humbled by that trust and I take seriously my role as their brand ambassador. I am honored to do hard and meaningful work alongside our colleagues.
If you find yourself needing a reminder of why we take on these tough but meaningful communications jobs, just write down what you are thankful for this year. It’s an important reminder during a very busy season on campus. Or better yet, share your list below. And thank YOU.