Skip navigation

Olin Hall, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Graduate Career Services

Ph.D Alumni Spotlight - Niki Latino

Current Job Title -  Executive Director-Academic Resources (AR) and Director of Undergraduate Academic Advising and Discoveries Orientation
Name of Organization -  University of Denver
Undergraduate Degree -  Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Mass Communications CSU-Pueblo
Graduate Degrees - Master's Degree in Higher Education and Student Development from the University of Denver
Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education and Teaching and Learning with a Cognate in Diversity at the University of Denver

Interview

What does your current position entail?

Overseeing the Academic Resources Cluster, developing community, cross-training, strategic planning, assessment, embedding Inclusive Excellence, supervising and evaluating seven full-time professionals, educating faculty on institutional policies, and budget management.

How did you get your current position?

Through a national search for the Director position and an internal search at DU for the Executive Director position.

In relation to graduation, when did you start the job search and when did you secure your position?

I defended in May 2010, graduated in June 2010, interviewed for the position in September 2010 and started on October 8, 2010. Due to restructuring in Student life with the retirement of one of the Associate Provosts, I interviewed for the Executive Director position in February 2011 and started this position on July 1, 2011. I had served in the Academic Advising Department as an advisor since 2003 and Assistant Director since 2007.

In regards to the job search process, did anything surprise you?

Nothing surprised me. However, the interview process started with an interview during dinner the night before the interview day and the day consisted of multiple interviews with various constituents and a public presentation in which forty people from across campus attended.

What recommendations do you have for current students?

Interviewing is definitely a skill that we should continue to practice. All day interviews are exhausting so it was important that I was mentally and physically prepared.

Which aspects of your background have been most helpful in your current position

The following areas have been particularly helpful: strategic planning, team development, curriculum development, and supervision. Additionally, I have benefitted from working closely with faculty through advising, Academic Exceptions, and Academic Standards.

If you were in your graduate program again, what would you do differently, if anything?

Enjoy the ride more

Any additional comments for current students?

Network!  Stay involved in the areas of your field that you are interested in pursuing a career in.

Take breaks when you need them. I kept pushing myself with my dissertation (which is entitled Unmasking Whiteness: A Framework for Understanding Inclusive Leadership at a Predominately White Institution) and then hit a point close to the end where I needed to take 6 weeks away from it. I came back refreshed and the final product came together within 3 months.

The Dissertation process was one of the most exciting and exhausting experiences of my life. Be prepared to experience a variety of emotions throughout the process but know you will write your final word and it will be so worth it in the end. Our scholarship matters.