student Spotlight

July Student Spotlight with Ricki Weitzen, MSEd ‘15

July Student Spotlight

Between her education, career, and extra-curricular interests busy doesn’t even begin to describe the schedule Ricki Weitzen has taken on. We speak about her current classes, professional roles, and where she hopes her career takes her.

Can you tell us about the two classes you’re currently enrolled in; what do you believe will be the most enduring things you learn that can be applied throughout your career and life?
I'm currently enrolled in my last semester in Baruch's HEA Masters program and the two classes I'm taking are: The Financing of Higher Education and Managing Cultural Diversity in the Workplace. I was very excited to take Managing Cultural Diversity in the Workplace because diversity & inclusion management is a topic that I'm very interested in. It's an area I've been passionate about for many years and I've had my hand in this work since being a Diversity Enrichment Leader as an undergraduate student. The best practices, theories and research I’ve learned about in class are extremely applicable to my career in higher education and I will be able to implement them in my day-to-day.

The Financing of Higher Education was a course I was tentative about taking but since it is a requirement, I didn’t have much of a choice. After the second week in class, it was clear how informative and important this topic is and I am very glad I had to take it. I've learned about many of the concepts relating to financing an institution including philanthropy, budgeting and risk management, and it's given me a more well-rounded perspective of higher education. Overall this semester has given me perspective on what I believe are two of the most important issues in higher education.

You’re Employer Relations & Diversity Initiatives Programming Assistant; Interim Club Liaison for the STARR Career Development Center; and Transfer Programming Specialist for the Center for Academic Advisement & New Student Orientation. What are some current initiatives you’re a part of?
As the Employer Relations & Diversity Initiatives Programming Assistant & Interim Club Liaison for the STARR Career Development Center, I’m able to be involved in many initiatives. On a weekly basis I’ll meet with students one-on-one to speak about job preparation, lead workshops, organize campus-wide programs and work with student clubs at Baruch to plan and market professional development events. A few events I’ve planned this year were office visits, socially conscious panels such as being a minority in the workplace, and workshops geared towards careers in marketing & advertising.

As the Transfer Programming Specialist for the CCA & New Student Orientation, I run a program called the Transfer Transition Program (TTP). TTP works with second semester transfer students who are either at risk, or are placed on academic probation. The program focuses on building skills in time-management, goal setting, stress management, mindfulness and teamwork. The goal of the program is to not only improve upon these skills, but to create a sense of community for these students and open them up to resources on campus, such as the CAA.

What roles and responsibilities are you interested in taking on as your career progresses?
As my career progresses I’d like to continue working hands on with students to help them progress as students and leaders post-graduation. Additionally, organizing and facilitating events is something I’m looking to continue in future roles. An area that I want to become more involved in is strategy on a more advanced level; I believe my innovation paired with knowledge of societal trends and ability to engage students will allow me to implement successful initiatives that benefit various stakeholders within my institution.