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Susan McNeilly

Associate Director of Residence Life, St. John’s University

What was your favorite part about working in Rutgers Residence Life?
“Working at Rutgers I was surrounded by intelligent, committed and student-centered professionals. The professional development I received both formally and informally was incredible. I’m so grateful for the strong network of support and mentorship that continues to this day.”

What other opportunities did you partake in while working at Rutgers?
“I served on multiple division committees which I greatly appreciated. It allowed me to better understand the scope of our reach in Student Affairs and learn through the lens of other departments and priorities. In addition, simply the size of Rutgers causes one to work on an entirely different level. As a result of serving a large and diverse population, collaborations were strong, project management was top notch and student impact was always high.”

How did Rutgers Residence Life best prepare you for your current position?
“At Rutgers it was commonplace to have conversations about vision and direction of the department with senior level administrators. The Vice President’s office, campus deans and directors of the department took the time to get to know everyone (despite being such a large operation). I felt my ideas were heard, but also challenged in appropriate ways for my own growth. That was very beneficial for me in my current role because I am more aware of the bigger picture and how all decisions support an overall vision. I have a heightened sense of awareness for things such as legalities, politics, morale and budget. These are all incredibly important as you move up within the field.”

Any words of advice or wisdom?
“For me, the size of Rutgers was intimidating at first, but I found that it became very small, very quickly and I was able to build a wonderful network. Take the time to connect with members of the division. Some of my greatest colleagues and most influential mentors are people I worked with at RU and I’m fortunate to still be able to connect with them to this day!”