This summer I've been thinking a lot about some of the fantastic people I've met as founder of Study Abroad Careers. I've interviewed all sorts people who were willing to share about their study abroad career, their international education job search, or their entrepreneurial journey. Sometimes I knew the person, other times it was a phone call, Skype, or email with a stranger. Regardless of the connection - real or virtual - expanding my network of professionals has been the greatest reward to grow from Study Abroad Careers. Which brings me to Sinclair.
One of my favorite collaborations came in 2016 after a Twitter connection with a total stranger. I reached out to Sinclair because I admired all the good he was putting out into the world. He just had this energizing positive spirit that sparked my creative side. He was kind enough to partner with Study Abroad Careers on a fun project to support study abroad job seekers with #MyHappyMail. You can read more about it here. We still get requests for Happy Mail by the way ;-)
Since our collaboration, I've continued to follow Sinclair on social media and subscribe to his weekly newsletter, Sinclair.ity. I've watched him hone in on his life purpose and find new ways to engage and support others in higher education and beyond. He now has a podcast, has been doing public speaking engagements, shares his fitness and mental health journey, and remains true/vulnerable throughout it all. I've loved watching from afar but decided to tag in with him recently just to get an update and ask if he'd send me a quick video update for all of you.
If you are in the middle of a study abroad job search or just trying to figure out what's next in life, I encourage you to consider adding Sinclair to your daily dose of pick-me-ups. As a person who is probably more stuck in the middle that I want to admit, I find interjecting positive into my life has a contagious effect.
Over the coming months I plan to provide updates on the people featured on this site in the hopes that you can continue to learn from their stories. Is there someone you want to hear from? Just let us know in the comments.
Do you ever stumble across someone in the field doing something truly energizing, and think, "Wow, I love what they are doing". It happens to me all the time. When I come across a higher education rock star, I track them down on social media so I can pin/follow/like and generally bookmark them for my own professional inspiration. That is how first I came across Sinclair Ceasar, creator of www.thesapronextdoor.com and author of Two Thousand Hours: Advice for a New Student Affairs Professional.
Sinclair works at Loyola University Maryland as the Assistant Director of Student Life. He's also a public speaker who conducts university workshops on topics such as community engagement, networking, conflict resolution & management.
You may be thinking, wait-- Sinclair is a student affairs professional, not an international educator. What gives? Well, I strongly believe that international education can be a bit too insular. I try hard to remain connected to other areas of higher education, particularly the good work being done in student affairs. This is how I grow as a professional.
I signed up for Sinclair's email newsletter in June 2015 because I was inspired by "Notes from Sinclair". This is a project where he sends a free inspirational snail mail to strangers who need a pick-me-up. Anyone can sign up (or sign someone else up) and get them on the list to receive a kind handwritten note. Want to see what I am talking about? Just check out #notesfromsinclair
Like most of you can imagine, I forgot about it and moved on. (Sorry, Sinclair). Life got in the way. So it goes. Until one day, as I was writing this post about job search burnout I thought back to Sinclair's "happy mail" project, and his sincere desire to make kindness go viral. I decided to check back in on his blog and sent him some Twitter love
Twitter led to the two of us connecting for an uplifting phone conversation about how we could join forces in supporting Study Abroad Careers job seekers during their long and frustrating search process.
I don't want to give anything away just yet, but I have to share my excitement about connecting with Sinclair, and let you know we have something in the works for you. I am so excited to partner with him to spread his positive energy throughout the education abroad community.