This is a guest blog post from our Campus Ambassador, Sydney Cameron, from the University of Central Florida.
The best universities provide many opportunities and resources for their students to use. One of the most underestimated resources that students don’t use to their full advantage are Academic Advisors. Advisors are responsible for helping students define and develop realistic education and career plans, monitoring student progress, and engaging in developmental advising versus simply course scheduling. Here are some tips to make the most of your relationship with an Academic Advisor:
Patience is a Virtue. The University of Central Florida - College of Business has over 8, 000 students. Each Career Coach/ Academic Advisor caters to about 1,000 students, and majority of them want to meet their advisor at the same time: registration. Can you imagine 1,000 people trying to contact you for advice on what classes to take in the beginning of each semester? Instead of attempting to speak with your advisor on the phone, I would suggest setting up an appointment two weeks before you may need to actually speak with your advisor. Be patient with your advisor because you are not their only student.
Understand Your Role As a Student. The student’s role is to acknowledge that advisors are there to help enhance your college experience. It is imperative to share your personal values, abilities, interests, and tasks that you want to accomplish in your life. Prepare for your appointment with your advisor by bringing a flexible attitude, a list of your questions and concerns, and a degree audit. Remember there is no such thing as a “stupid question.” Students should also hold themselves accountable for all final decisions made in the process of completing their graduation requirements.
Advising is a relationship. Plan to meet with your academic advisor at least three times a semester. Your advisor should be one of the most important people you meet in your college career. Once the advisors understand your goal and ambitions, they can help you access other resources on campus like internships, student organizations, career services, and etc. Advisors can also use their network to introduce you to internship coordinators, amazing professors, and mentors in your professional field.
I hope this advice encourages you to build a relationship with your advisor. Your advisor can be an amazing source for information, motivation, and encouragement throughout your college career.