Purdue Student Government Staff Secretary
Hugs, excited squeals and friendly greetings are common reactions to Kim Joy's presence in Purdue Student Government's offices in Stewart Center.
During the two years she's spent as PSG's staff secretary, Joy has built close relationships with many of the nearly 100 students who participate in the organization. The job involves a mutual learning experience that Joy treasures deeply — and that she wouldn't trade for anything.
How did you become PSG's staff secretary?
In 2009, I retired from my job as an inside sales team leader at Alcoa, a manufacturer in Lafayette, and up until that point I had always wanted to work at a university. Something about the prospect of being around students in a learning environment just really appealed to me, so I decided to pursue job opportunities at Purdue. When this position became available, I realized it was the perfect fit, because it allowed me to work with students and because I've always been interested in the law and in politics. I was excited to contribute to the organization and, in the process, learn more about my own interests.
What sorts of things have you learned?
Overall, I've learned that the breadth of PSG's involvement on campus is incredible. Our student government is involved in so many organizations and departments, some of which I didn't even know existed.
Right now, PSG has 96 members, including student cabinet (PSG president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and chief of staff), senators, board of directors and court.
Part of my role consists of helping the senators compile legislation for their biweekly meetings. I assist with updating the PSG website, I help plan and coordinate PSG retreats, I work with the PSG election committee on yearly campaigns and elections, and I answer whatever questions PSG members or students who come into the office might have. Something different comes up every day.
What's it like working with students every day?
It's fantastic. At any given time, there are between 20 and 25 students in the office, so I've been able to create some very close bonds with many of them. Being around students is everything I had hoped it would be — they're energetic, respectful and kind. We have a very diverse, fun group, and so I learn something from them every day. I also get a lot of hugs and very enthusiastic thank-you's for work that I consider part of my job.
What's the best part of your job?
I'd say it's watching PSG members grow professionally and succeed. It's rewarding to see a member go from being an associate director into progressively higher-ranking positions. But it's also bittersweet, because unlike a lot of jobs, the people I work with on a daily basis leave after just a few years. These students become like my own kids, so it's sad to watch them go, but I always look forward to the new collaborations that each semester brings.
Is there anything else you're looking forward to?
In the fall of 2014, PSG's offices will be moving to the Center for Student Excellence and Leadership building, which will be located across from the recreational sports building at Martin Jischke Drive and Third Street. The new building will house the Student Activities and Organizations Office, which includes the student government advisors, and the Business Office for Student Organizations, which will be very helpful for our PSG members because they'll be able to conduct business activities in one location.
In general, though, I'm very much looking forward to continuing to be part of PSG's tradition of excellence — the collaboration, the camaraderie and the opportunity to help students as they embark on remarkable careers really make my job rewarding and worthwhile.