Where They Are Now – Tammy Samuels, Montclair State University
Assistant Dean – Montclair State University
Tammy received a BA from Rutgers University and a MA from Montclair State University. She has just started in her current role at Montclair State!
What was your career path to get your current role? Prior to my current role: Assistant Director of Graduate Programs at Duke University, Assistant Director of Internship Programs at Rutgers University, Dean of Students at Wilson College and Director of Career Development at Wilson College
What was your first job? I was a Counselor at Medgar Evers College.
Why did you choose this career? I chose this career in higher education because I wanted to give back to students in a way that was afforded to me. Throughout my career, I have had some great mentors including my college dean and coaches. I wanted to positively influence young men and women in their early career development stage and help shape their decisions. It’s rewarding to help those around me become empowered and strong, ethical leaders.
What is the skill that is most important in your current role? The skills I believe are most important in my current role are critical thinking and decision-making. This current role allows me to work directly with faculty, administrators, and students. Developing strategic plans for enrollment and retention, addressing student concerns and issues, as well as managing events enable me to utilize such skills and more.
How did you develop this skill and how do you fine-tune it regularly? I think I developed this skill mostly in graduate school. Throughout my studies, I was compelled to analyze and think critically. Every day of my career thus far, I have been able to fine tune my skills. New challenges or problems arise in my daily work and I’m often tasked with providing resolution. I also engage in opportunities outside of my role through professional development and I’m able to fine-tune my skills in this arena as well.
What is your biggest career accomplishment? I believe one of my biggest career accomplishments is the development and implementation of a University-wide credit-bearing internship program at Rutgers University. It’s a revenue generating program that continues to thrive at the University and allows students of all disciplines to earn academic credit towards their degree. I’m really proud to have made such a “thumbprint” at my alma mater.
How many years were you a member of EACE and have you volunteered for the organization? I have been a member of EACE for 9 years. Through the years I have volunteered in many capacities: Co-chair, Diversity & Advancement; Co-chair, Exhibits (Annual Conference 2013); Member, Awards Committee (2 years); Member, Sponsorship Committee; Member, Professional Exchange Committee (2 years)
How did EACE help you in your personal career development? EACE has helped me in my personal career development by affording me the opportunity to network, engage in public speaking and presentations, and also develop my leadership skills.
Did you have an EACE Mentor or another member of EACE serve as your unofficial mentor? I had “unofficial” mentors of EACE. For instance, Janet Jones, Jennifer Broyles, Adrienne Alberts, and Ayanna Wilcher.
What is your advice to current EACE members who aspire to your current or a similar role to yours? My advice would be stay passionate about your work and let that be the driver of your success. It’s so important to discover the work that keeps you motivated, engaged, and challenged. You want to avoid becoming complacent so tap into new opportunities outside your “comfort” zone and build your professional network. Remember to seek mentors for yourself and opportunities to strengthen your leadership abilities. The long and short of it, stay positive, passionate, and persistent!