Suggested Activities for Student Affairs Officers

Courses and books will help you gain knowledge, but there is nothing that takes the place of hands-on experience.

Below are some ideas of activities and projects that you can pursue to enhance your knowledge:

Student Advising

Interpersonal Communication

  • Attend a resource faire on-campus or off-campus
  • Develop and present training on a departmental process
  • Shadow "drop in" advising
  • Volunteer to lead a meeting in your unit
  • Write instructions for a departmental procedure
  • Build relationships with faculty and colleagues
  • Become a campus mediation co-facilitator
  • Visit an office/person you make referrals to

Service Orientation

  • Learn more about Human Corps
  • Learn more about International Resources
  • Participate on a Chancellor's Advisory committee
  • Volunteer to deliver your department's new employee orientation or develop a new employee handbook
  • Volunteer to participate on hiring committees
  • Join a committee
  • Form a network of peers doing similar jobs in other departments
  • Staff a table at a campus faire

Diversity Commitment

Program Administration

  • Ask to be cross-trained in basic financial duties in your office
  • Attend student orientations in any department
  • Learn about student staff training at Student Housing (e.g., The Student Leadership Development Series)
  • Learn more about what each unit contributes to the running of your department
  • Learn to read and analyze your department's financial reports
  • Participate in a strategic planning process
  • Volunteer to create a database or reports to manage a set of data in your unit
  • Volunteer to create or redesign department budget spreadsheets
  • Attend planning meetings


  • Volunteer for orientations, group meetings, student activities or outreach
  • Volunteer to lead a meeting
  • Attend an academic advising session
  • Practice Principles of Community
  • Complete Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Assessment
  • Network
  • Revise your Individual Development Plan (IDP)
  • See a career counselor
  • Schedule and informational interview with a SAO to discuss self-management techniques
  • Lead a group project
  • Take a leadership role on a campus committee
  • Ask to be cross-trained in SAO-related duties in your office

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