This is the first post in the SA Storytellers series. Joe Sabado is the Associate Director of Information Systems and Software Development, Student Information Systems and Technology in the Division of Student Affairs at UC Santa Barbara. Here is his story.
I work for the central student affairs technology department at UCSB. A colleague once told me “Sometimes we forget that you’re more than a techie, we tend to put you in the IT box.” I typically have not shared my experience as a non-techie in student affairs so I can’t blame them for putting me in the techie box. But as much as I love technologies and the satisfaction of being able to implement information systems, delivering technology is not what I think what my job is. My job is student service. I consider myself as a student affairs professional working with technologies and not a technologist working in student affairs.
I have always enjoyed working with students since I came to UCSB in 1991 and when I became a professional staff in the same department I work for now in 1996. I have always hoped to make a positive difference in their lives and this is what motivates me. Serving in student-led committees, reading admissions applications, and serving as student organization advisor, activities outside my technologist role, provide me with personal satisfaction and serve as reminders of who I serve.
What I also find rewarding about student affairs is that I learn so much about so many different aspects of life, not just student life, but life in general. My role has allowed me to work with all departments in UCSB Student Affairs. For example:
I enjoy a career that combines my interests in technologies and student affairs. I left student affairs 3 times to pursue other opportunities but I ended up coming back. I am not sure what the future holds, given budget cuts and efforts to combine university units but what I do know is that to this point in my life, having a career in student affairs has been really great, professionally and personally.