Take 5 with A.J. Sanders

A.J. Sanders

Assistant Director, Integrative Student Services at Wake Forest University School of Business, Online MSBA Program

A.J. Sanders head shot

A.J. Sanders

1. How do you define success for yourself? What has helped you to be successful?

Success for me means being joyful in the midst of positive and negative life circumstances. It also means that my community is well cared for and supported.

I think my community — friends and family– as well as mentors have helped me to be successful. My husband and my parents are my greatest support system. Without their advice and encouragement, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I also think regularly seeking advice from mentors and attending mental health counseling to maintain wellness and balance have contributed to my success.

2. Think of a time that you faced a challenge, obstacle, or roadblock. How did you get through that and what did you learn?

When most recently faced with a work related challenge, I again sought the advice of those closest to me. I also recognized when it was time to close the door on a chapter of life and to let go of what others think of the life decisions that were right for me and my family.

3. Who are your people (either by name or role) who help you to be successful/confident/intentional/reflective/any other descriptor you want to use? And how have they helped you?

Mentor – that I meet with bi-weekly that helps reflect on decisions and life.
Peers – professional peers both within my field and without that are a part of my support system and help me reflect on who I was to who I am becoming.
Friends and family – lovely people that I see regularly, that I can laugh with, talk with, and be authentically me with are vital to my wellbeing.

4. How did you find your people?

I have been grateful to find people along the way in life that are a part of my multi-branch community. When I moved to a new city, I joined a professional mentoring community, a small group at local church, and a book club. I have also worked hard to maintain relationships from college and grad school.

5. What advice would you give to Wake Forest students as they look for their people?

As you look for your people, know your worth. Choose people that are encouraging to you and that help you become a better person as you spend time with them. Also choose people that you can laugh and be authentic with during the good, the bad, and the ugly. Finally, always be open to new people and adding new branches to your community.