Senior Reflects on Discovering a Passion for Working in Higher Education

Today we feature Mark Bosma (he/him), a senior English major from Vernon, NJ (Sussex County) who will continue his studies as a graduate student after he earns his bachelor’s degree this spring. This story is the first of a three-part series where Mark will be featured based on his activities and campus involvement. Part 1 focuses on his academic involvement on campus and his plans as a future graduate student.

Mark sits on a blue lounge chair, reading a book.

Why did you choose to study English?

I chose to study English because, when I applied to Rowan, all education majors had to pick a dual major to go along with their education major. I had a lot of trouble with reading comprehension and was in lower-level English until high school. Then, I worked my way up from needing tutoring and being pulled out of class for help in English to being in AP English in high school. By the end, English was my best subject in high school, so I decided to pursue my dual major and help children like me who needed extra assistance growing up.

What led you to switch majors from elementary education to English?

After working in the Admissions office since my sophomore year, I changed my elementary education and English dual major to just majoring in English with a minor in education. I loved being an education major, but I found a passion for working at the collegiate level with students and supporting students that may not have that at home. So, I am completing my English degree and staying here at Rowan for my master’s in higher education administration.

What career paths are you interested in pursuing after graduation?

After earning my master’s degree I hope to be able to work at a university doing something in student life. I love the student life aspect of higher education and would love to plan events for students and help ease the transition into college. I eventually hope to be a Dean of Students or have a significant role in student life one day because I have had such amazing experiences with the professional staff here that I want to impact students just like they did for me. I also have experience in admissions, so I would love to talk about college with prospective students and families and show them the fantastic world of higher education and all the things it can offer people.

Mark stands in front of the classic white doors of Bunce Hall, with his arms crossed across his chest.

What skills are most important when seeking out a job within the English and education field?

Being able to manage time and having the ability to make connections are crucial for the education system. Creating a safe and accepting environment is something that I have learned and experienced, and these are things that I hope to bring with me in the future on my transition into higher education.

How has your involvement around campus and within admissions equipped you with the skills to utilize in your future studies?

I have had a fantastic time working in admissions. We have to memorize the entire manual and be prepared to answer any question a prospective student or guardian has. We work all of the significant events on campus and also work in the admissions office, so I have worked on my public speaking skills, organizational skills, and being able to work in a professional setting with professional staff. I also could work with the events and special projects manager in Advancement, so I have been able to plan big campus events and talk with donors. These positions have given me work experience but also the experience to make a difference in people’s lives, which has been my favorite part of these positions. Moving forward, I will use the skills I learned in these positions to help students decide if college is the right decision for them and make their college experience one that they will remember forever.

Mark sits in front of a tree with a field of daffodils in front of him.

Please describe your internship experience(s), if they influenced your decisions to pursue a specific field?

I student-taught in a kindergarten class for a semester, which I loved. I loved teaching the content that we needed to cover in class, but I loved teaching people skills and how to be kind to one another. School is not just about learning content; it is about learning people skills and how you impact one another in and outside the classroom. That helped me decide to go into higher education because I want to be a role model to students and help college students in one of the most significant transition points in their life where they need guidance and somebody to be there for them. Everything is a learning experience, and I love being able to help people learn more about themselves and help them with the day-to-day struggles they may be having.

What do you most value from your academic experience at Rowan University?

I valued getting to know my professors and students in my program because of our small class sizes. I have made so many connections and always felt that I was supported throughout my program. College classes are challenging, but we have so many resources for students to use and take advantage of, and they helped me be successful with my classes over the past four years.

What do you most value from your social experience at Rowan University?

I had the best social experience here at Rowan. I was able to get involved immediately and make lifelong friends. Of course, Covid changed that for a bit, but the social atmosphere and sense of community I feel on this campus is like no other. I cannot step out of my apartment for two seconds without seeing at least five people I know, which is a fantastic feeling!

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Story by:
Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major 

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