Welcome to another LA&PS Through the Ages, where we converse with longtime members of the LA&PS community about their academic history, personal insights, current roles and their fond memories at York University.
This edition features Delisile L. Dlamini, who is currently working as a Student Success & Academic Advisor at the School of Administrative Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS). With over nine years of experience, she takes pride in her work, where she interacts with and guides York students in achieving their academic goals. She prioritizes an individualistic approach to empowering, supporting and meeting the needs of students.
Although Delisile started officially working as a full-time staff member in 2014, her journey at York dates to her time as a student and resident of the International Student Employment Program. She was an extremely active student who never missed an opportunity to contribute her knowledge to the York community. Besides work, Delisile is a mother of two lovely boys and enjoys spending quality time with her family.
When did you first join the York University community?
I started working for York when I was a student. Back then, there was a program like the Work/Study Program for international students. This was known as the International Student Employment Program. I was also a Resident Don, one of many student leaders who helped to ease the transition into campus life in the Bethune and Tatham Hall Residences.
Throughout my undergraduate studies, I worked with a variety of faculties and departments such as the York Convocation Office, as a special projects assistant in the School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design and in the Office of the Master in Bethune College. In my final year as a student at York, I worked with Health Ed@york and after graduating in 2014, I started my first position here as a full-time staff member in the Faculty of Science as an International Student Advisor.
What sparked your interest in working at York University?
When I was a student at York, I made many meaningful friendships and connections. York truly started to feel like a second home to me. I loved it working with the International Student Employment Program and knew right away this was something I wanted to continue doing forever. I wanted to interact with students from a multitude of backgrounds. And as an international student myself, I empathize and felt like I really understood them.
It felt like such a natural progression for me to stay at York after my graduation. Part of me just wanted to give back to the community that had nurtured my growth throughout my undergraduate career and my current position allows me to do just that.
What do you enjoy most about being part of the LA&PS community?
I am elated to be a part of a team that creates a positive impact on students’ lives. Without a doubt, interacting with students is the best part of my job. It is a wonderful experience to watch and assist them in navigating their journey through their undergraduate careers. It is so satisfying to see them flourish and succeed. Some students may face challenges and stumble along the way, but we are always here to steer them toward a path of success.
I am also incredibly grateful to my colleagues. It is such a joy to work with people who share the same values as me. We all prioritize enriching the student experience and providing them with the tools they need to be ambitious and achieve their dreams.
What is the most important thing you have learned during your York University journey?
In my role as a LA&PS Student Success & Academic Advisor, I wholeheartedly believe that when it comes to students and service delivery, there is not a 'one size fits all' approach. Student needs and circumstances are remarkably diverse and unique. This is why it is important as an advisor to always keep an open mind and be willing to accommodate accordingly.
Now, a fun question! What keeps you busy outside the office?
I love to listen to music. Reading mystery thrillers is always a wonderful way to spend my time. However, in recent years my family has expanded; I have two handsome little men in my life who I adore wholeheartedly. They have delightfully taken over all my time outside of work. So even if I do not get to read or listen to music as much nowadays, I cherish every second that I spend with my family. The kids keep things lively and we always plan fun activities or enjoy travelling together.