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||Meet Chloe, one of our summer 2017 ICI Interns: I’m Chloe Alexander, a recent graduate of an ICI member campus, where I studied Communications and History. You’ll find me in a library, coffee shop, or thrift store. I speak primarily in English, but also in Spanish with a terrible accent, FRIENDS quotes, and Disney song lyrics. I strive to make my mark on the world by writing, traveling, reading, engaging in critical thinking, and enjoying the arts. Ask me about my adorable dog and I will talk to you for a minimum of an hour.
Using Your Academic Advisor Wisely
August 14, 2017
Your academic advisor on campus can be extremely helpful to you as a student. Take advantage of what they can offer!
Classes are close to starting again for many colleges, and one relationship that will be important on campus is the one with your academic advisor. College advisors can be a wealth of information for you in college, in several different areas.
Your advisor will often be assigned to you based on your interests or major at the beginning of your college career. For example, my advisor was a professor within my department. These advisors can be an incredible resource. They can guide you through the process of class registration and help figure out which classes will be the most beneficial for your personal career goals. As a history major, my focus was on American history and culture. Because my advisor taught a few of those classes, he was able to give me personal insights on how the classes were run, the kind of work I could expect, and whether or not he thought a particular course would be beneficial to me.
Advisors often have great knowledge of the academic sources that are available on campus and will know how to use them efficiently, whether it’s putting you in contact with someone at the career center or recommending that you use a specific service at the learning center. The research on some of my papers became far more specific after my advisor showed me a database I could use at the library. Advisors are also able to help with the transition from high school to college academics. College courses are very different from high school, and it will take some adjusting.
Academics is just one area in which students can get help from advisors. They can also share their life experiences or serve as a mentor. Many times their offices are open for conversation on any number of things a student could be struggling with. And because it is extremely likely that academic advisors also teach a couple of classes, it is easy for students to shy away from discussing anything other than academics with their advisor. Don’t fall into this habit! Advisors have other encouragements to offer. Ask to grab coffee with them once a month and nuture this relationship. You could gain a lot through good relationships with these people. One of my advisors in college really became someone that I could talk to about most anything. He later asked me to be his student leader on an international trip, and the life experience I gained was amazing.
Having a good relationship with your advisors may mean that they will be invested in your career, both during and after college. Many are willing to write letters of recommendation for a potential job or graduate school. You can also find yourself with advantageous networking opportunities because of your advisors. Professors and advisors have a number of connections, and often they are willing to use those connections for your benefit when they can. Maybe they’ll throw an internship your way, or put you in contact with someone in the field you’re looking at going into.
They also can give you working experience themselves sometimes. I ended up working as a teaching assistant for one of my advisors in my last year of school. When I asked the professor later what made him hire me, the answer was in part that he felt as if he knew me better than other students. Because he was comfortable in what he knew about me as a student he advised, he felt confident that we would work well together as employer/employee. There was an open line of communication between us that was enhanced because of the relationship I had sought to develop.
Ask your advisor to read through your resume! While the career center will be helpful in what a resume should look like on a professional level, your advisor can be more industry-specific. Perhaps there is certain language that should or shouldn’t be used. Maybe they’ll catch that a position you listed isn’t really relevant to the job you’re searching for. Your resume can look that much better if you send them a quick email and ask them to skim through it.
Finally, talk to your advisor after your freshman year!!!!! Too often, students stop going to their advisors after first year of college because they have figured out how to register for classes themselves and feel like they can’t be useful in other ways. Your advisors really do want to see you succeed, during and after college. Why not let them help you be your best in school, and gain some valuable life advice in the process?
Read another blog here!
Finding the Right Dorm
August 3, 2017
Scared of community bathrooms? Really want a kitchen to bake cookies in? Check out this list of options for where to live in college.
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