When Christine Job first walked onto the Bricks as in 2010, she never imagined that she would one day serve as the first female African-American president of Miami Law's Student Bar Association. But after winning the most votes in a three-way race earlier this week, Job is ready to make history.
"I'm quite overwhelmed," she said after being notified of her victory. "I'm honored. It's a very humbling experience to know that your peers want you to represent them."
Job will take office on April 9th, after the Passing of the Gavel ceremony on the Bricks. She will replace Jihan "Gigi" Soliman as SBA President.
Raised in Suwanee, a small town in Georgia, Job discovered her capacity for leadership early on. She served as the senior class vice-president in high school before earning a business degree from the University of Georgia. After graduation, she decided to put her minor in Spanish to good use by choosing the University of Miami to pursue a joint degree in law and music management.
"During Admitted Students Day, I really enjoyed the feeling of family at UM," she said. "That sealed the deal for me. I became a James Weldon Johnson/Robert H. Waters Fellow, and that also gave me the support I needed during my first year."
Soon after starting at Miami Law, Job was elected to be a 1L senator. In that role, Job was appointed to a campus-wide committee, which gave her a lot of exposure to the University of Miami's administration. When asked why she believes her 1L peers chose her to represent them so early in her law school career, Job laughed.
"Because I'm talker!" she replied. "I just found all of my classmates very interesting, with so much talent and very unique backgrounds. I'm a people-person, so even during 1L Orientation, I was very friendly and talkative. Soon after that, I was elected Historian of the SBA. I had the idea of using our blog to help students have direct access to us, so we could get more comments and feedback. I want students to feel like they are a part of the process. I want them to have their voices heard."
Her plans for the blog were put on hold when the active SBA secretary had to leave school early. Job was appointed to fill the position, and as a result became president of the Inter-Club Council. "I worked really hard to push student collaboration," she said. "We have so many organizations that all want to put on so many events, and many of them have overlapping or complementary issues. We want student organizations and their alumni networks to co-mingle, so we can better tap into our resources and expand them for everyone."
Job has big plans for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year. In addition to revamping the SBA blog, she plans on "cultivating a culture of leadership and service within the Miami Law community."
"I think, as future attorneys, we can forget that the legal profession is most importantly a service-based profession," Job said. "It's great that we are nationally known for our public interest programs, and now we have to maximize that image. We have a lot to give."
Job's goals include creating a resume and business card station in the Copy Center, ditching the paper system of organizing locker rentals in favor of digital files, strengthening alumni networks, and establising office hours for SBA officers to ensure face-to-face communications with other students. "The SBA officers are all readily available through e-mail, but certain situations really mandate that face time," she said of the office hours.
All her goals, big and small, have the same theme: Improving communications through creative and innovative means while making life easier for Miami Law students. As for the ones who have graduated and gone on to bigger things, Job said Miami Law has "phenomenal alumni."
"They need to know what's going on at Miami Law, and they should find out this information directly from the students. When students appreciate and learn from alumni, it forges a bond that will lead to Canes helping Canes and Canes hiring Canes. We dominate the southern Florida legal market, but we now want to dominate the national market."
The need for the resume and business card station has been clear to Job for a while. "Law students practically live on-campus. I've seen students struggling to put resume paper in printers while rushing to beat a deadline. Creating an on-campus work station for only these needs makes it one less thing for law students to worry about."
Job will get lots of help fulfilling these goals with the rest of the senators and the SBA Executive Board, which includes vice-president Genevieve Valle; secretary Jenna Winchester; treasurer Chris Brennan; historian Cristin Comiskey; and the ABA Representative, Jason Emert. The new executive board is already working on transitioning into their leadership roles.
"The SBA is an inclusive organization," Job explained. "We are here to serve students, organizations, alumni, and even the administration, because we are sent out as the student face of Miami Law. We have a huge responsibility to elevate the law school experience for everyone."