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How to Thrive in College, Navigate Change, Success, and Resilience

Dec 04, 2023

Life is a continuous journey and change is constant. Along the way, we will encounter moments of transition and shifts that can change our plans. Due to the regularity of change, it is important for us to continuously evaluate our plans and goals.

In this episode, our host John Rebecchi (M.B.A. ’83), Ph.D. is joined by Tiffani L. Hinds, M.S., M.Ed., a first-generation college student from Harlem, NY. In July 2019, Hinds stepped into the role of Interim Dean of Students at New York Tech, transitioning from her role as Dean of Students at The College of New Rochelle (CNR). By December 2022, Hinds was appointed Associate Provost, Student Engagement & Development.

In the current role, Hinds partners with faculty, deans and student affairs leaders to enrich the student experience through impactful programs and resources. She collaborates closely with New York Tech’s Office of Student Life as well as Career Success and Experiential Education to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all students while fostering career-ready initiatives and promoting awareness among students about the significance of active involvement in college.

In addition to her extensive experience, Hinds is deeply committed to service and volunteerism. She actively volunteers with the Archdiocese of New York, where she believes the opportunity played a pivotal role in shaping her leadership skills. “I learned how to work with people through all walks of life, I learned how to be clear and direct about tasks and when delectating.” She added, “I also learned the gift that we all have and how impactful it can be to the lives of others and to transform their lives.”

Hinds expresses her leadership style as transformational, stating, “I loved to encourage whoever I am working with to make sure that they understand that they can do whatever they set their heart to.” Adopting the role of a servant leader, “I always put others first; I’d never ask someone to do something that I wouldn’t myself do.” Reflecting on her approachable and energetic style, when challenges arise, she will take a moment to pause in order to maintain the energetic and balanced leadership that others require.

During life in college, students may come across various challenges of navigating their unique college experience; embracing intentional change as they engage in self-discovery while creating a roadmap for their academic and professional goals. Yet, a critical aspect of the college experience involves in being open to organic change, where transformation slowly progresses, which allows students to discover who they aspire to become. Hinds encourages students to practice self-compassion, take the time to breathe and promotes the standpoint that challenges offer opportunities to expand their perspectives and skill sets. She added, “It is a preparation for life…things may not always happen the way you think they should, but they’ll happen in a way in which you may be most productive and most successful. And maybe in the way the world needs you most.”

Hinds encourages students who are starting out in their career to prioritize networking and stepping beyond their comfort zones. This can start by engaging with the Career Success and Experiential Education and pursuing internships to gain a deeper understanding in their field. For aspiring entrepreneurs, Hinds highlights the significance of persistence, sharing that success may not come right away - "you may not strike gold on the first try," but ongoing effort is crucial.

Listen to the full episode: Podbean, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify.

By Patthara Chandaragga