Leadership Spotlight: Kristen Mann

August 30, 2017

Welcome to the very first WISA Leadership Spotlight! Each month WISA will showcase individuals on the WISA Leadership Team to allow members to get to know the women in executive positions in both a personal and professional capacity.

Our very first spotlight focuses on Kristen Mann, the Communications Co-Chair. Kristen works full time as the Residential Coordinator for Pre-Collegiate Studies at Stanford University.

Who has been the most influential in the development of your career?

So many people have been influential in the development of my career! If I had to pick one person, I would thank my mom for demonstrating early on for me what it means to work hard at a career while also supporting others, and then consistently encouraging me to go after my career goals. In the field of Student Affairs, I think of these people as very influential to the development of my career: Lauren Weiner, Emily Sandoval, Alex Belisario, Brian Arao, Shelley Arroyo, Ben Agan, Melanie Payne, Emily Arth, Brian Morin, Danielle DeSawal, Lucy LePeau, Kate Sartori, Ana Rossetti-Sloan, Kelley Stier, Charles Donaldson, and Rachael Amick. As I go about my work on a daily basis, soundbites from these people pop up in my head, and I feel that much more supported in my ability to help students.

When you wake up in the morning, and you’re mentally preparing yourself for another day of work, what excites you the most?

I always look forward to the individual connections I can make with other people, whether I am interviewing them for a staff position or walking by them casually in the community. The moments where we can engage with others are so important to me, and I try to embrace these moments as much as possible.

Why did you choose to enter the world of Student Affairs?

I enjoy helping people identify and work toward their passions, and I identified back in my undergraduate years that I like doing this work on college campuses. I like the spirit of appreciation for learning, development, and co-constructing knowledge (in its many forms) that many people bring to institutions of higher education.

What are your thoughts on work/life balance? Is there such a thing? If so, how do you achieve it?

I think about finding harmony between work and life needs, wants, and desires a lot! As someone who appreciates music, I like to think of this more regarding “harmony” than “balance.” I find more solace in not counting hours that are evenly balanced between work and life, but bringing the many parts of my life together in a way that brings me the peace I am looking for: a peace similar to an enjoyable song.

If you were to do something other than work in Student Affairs, what would it be?

I’ve always thought it would be fun to be a cruise director who helps people have a good time on vacation through events. However, I think I would miss my family and friends too much! I have also thought about positions where I could support staff development in other types of employment settings, as I think I could bring a lot of transferable skills from my work supervising, motivating, and leading others.

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Kristen a bit better! If you have a question for Kristen regarding anything she mentioned above or her role on the WISA Leadership Team, please contact her directly at [email protected]

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