Nicole Subik | Director, Learning Support Services
“When I first started working in Learning Support Services, I had so many ideas for programs and workshops that I wanted to run. I was just bursting! In my second year, I teamed up with Biology and Nursing colleagues to create an Anatomy and Physiology Study Group. In its early inception, this group met weekly and was a mix of structured review elements, graphic organizers, and exam questions. To run this group effectively, I sat in on A&P classes and spent hours creating materials and running the group, in addition to other elements of my role as a Learning Specialist. Effective? Yes. Efficient? No. It became overwhelming. And although the group was successful and popular, it was ultimately unsustainable in its current format, namely with me at the helm.
I felt like I had failed. I spent so much time and effort on something that I could no longer continue. Upon reflection, the whole experience taught me some lessons that I still think about. First, it is okay to pass along (or pass on) a project. You can say yes to a lot, but you cannot say yes to everything. It can be challenging to say no, especially when the project sounds interesting or you are worried about disappointing someone, but there is also joy in collaborating with and trusting your friends and colleagues. For example, the Study Group lived on for many years under the leadership of our Graduate Assistants and a team of talented students. The second thing I learned was that my time and energy are two of my most precious assets and I don’t think I valued them highly enough. Many years later, I am happy to report that I am still bursting with ideas, but I know that I need to think strategically about what projects I take on so that I can maximize my impact on the Villanova community. Now, as Director of Learning Support Services, I find it very rewarding to support our staff in developing new programming and workshops. I also feel confident in sharing my hard-earned wisdom with both staff and students about making sure we do not overextend ourselves.”