New job for me: hello world, its AVDAR calling!

Yesterday, I accepted a new job with my current employer, Lynchburg College.  The new title, associate vice president for development and alumni relations (AVDAR), is more than a mouthful, and I shudder at how that’s going to work on a business card.  But at the end of the day, it means I triple the number of people reporting directly to me, and it puts me squarely in the path of our entire donor cultivation and stewardship process.

I relish the opportunity, and as much as anything, I feel compelled to excel because of the degree of responsibility with which I have been entrusted.  Its interesting though, because I have been quite interested in folks’ reactions to the news, which broke yesterday.

Most have been congratulatory, to a surprising extent even, but I haven’t decided whether the frequent refrain, “you deserved it,” is praise or damnation.  Many have seemed truly welcoming of my increased involvement in the college’s fundraising efforts.

I guess much of what is ahead for me, the folks who will depend on me for guidance and leadership, and the donors and prospects, depends on how well I deliver the message of, and build trust in my vision.  It may be scary for some, but its, inarguably, the opportunity for me to put my money where my mouth is.

As skills go, I believe I have what it takes: understanding of relationship management, deep experience in alumni relations and university administration, great working relationships throughout the community, solid public relations experience, and enough battle scars to have thickened my skin to bear most of the oncoming “input” bystanders love to give.  I will also get to truly test and sharpen the leadership skills others say are so clearly present within.

I also now have the opportunity to see whether my belief in teamwork, valuing every perspective, and decisive action based on broad input can be applied to an extremely diverse set of jobs and personalities.

I also know, perhaps most importantly, the knowledge I need to gain far overpowers what I already know.  Humility not being my strongest trait, this new experience will be solid antidote for that.

The next chapters remain to be written, but I like the odds.  Game on.

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8 responses to “New job for me: hello world, its AVDAR calling!

  1. Best of luck to you! Congrats! Sounds like they picked the right person!

  2. Hi Matt,

    Congrats on the new gig! I accepted a new post yesterday as well. I’m leaving the Roanoke Times to work at Virginia Tech. I’ll be the director of web communications and in charge of Tech’s site, http://www.vt.edu. Hopefully we can meet up at some point. Take care and congrats again. You’ll do quite well.

  3. dianalschumacher

    🙂 You know my thoughts without having to repeat it here but seriously, the leadership skills, sales skills, people skills, friend skills (okay so i threw that one in for ME, i’m selfish and greedy which i’ve always fessed up to you know…AND high maintenance!!!!) the family man skills, etc…how can this be a bad move???? NO WAY!!!! I’m so happy for you and know that you will exceed all expectations!!! Teri has to be so extremely proud of you!!!!! As a friend for many years, i know i am!!!!

    Lastly… ” Humility not being my strongest trait, this new experience will be solid antidote for that.” Life in a “fishbowl” is not always fun but as you know and i know…it builds strength and character beyond any self help course you could take! I’m way stronger from the challenges and hardships of having been a pastors wife and living in a fishbowl…

    Can’t wait to hear the GREAT reports!!!!
    Diana

  4. Thanks all. John, congrats. We studied the redesign you Tech did about a year ago and really liked the company they were working with. You’re in a great position, Tech made a great decision. I hope to get together soon.

  5. Nanette, thanks for reading my post. I hope you continue to track me, and join the Twitter following, too! All my best.

  6. Kudos Matt! They made a great decision. You definitely have the ability to succeed in this new position. And while you say humility isn’t your forte, the mere fact that you know you have a lot to learn says differently. How can we, your blog readers, and me specifically, help you? What do you need to be successful in this new position? Perhaps a follow up post?

    Coffee soon!

  7. Congrats! I am looking forward to getting to know more about what you do.

  8. Matt, just got back from DC and dealing with CC’s PR firm and now I readyou have this side gig! Outstanding!

    Congratulations and very wise words you’ve penned above, knowing what you don’t know is half the battle.

    See you soon!

    John

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