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Better relationship with Advisor?

I want to interact with my advisor better. I know going more to their office is a way to do that but I'm not sure what to ask them about. What are some general topics that would spark communication? #academic-advising #college-advising


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Dharshanika’s Answer

Share your short term and long term goals with the advisers before shooting the questions in mind. This will give a complete picture of your needs.


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Cheryl’s Answer

Hey Jenise. This is a great question because it tells me you are motivated to get this college thing right! One of the most important ways you can get your advisor to attend to your needs is to ask for an appointment. Schedule some time to focus on you, so that you are not competing with other staff, students, and interruptions. Plus, this helps your advisor prepare for your meeting. Second, do not be afraid to say you do not know where to start! That is normal, and it is our job as college and career advisors to determine what we need to cover with you. Your opening email requesting an appointment can even state this. Third, be prepared to talk about your goals and aspirations. This is a good starting place, because it gives your advisor some direction in terms of where you want to go, and they can give you direction and strategies to get there. Last, you can google anything these days. There is a wealth of college and career information online, and most resources are free. Last, if your advisor is not helpful, I'd be happy to address whatever is on your mind. I LOVE sharing information about college preparation, planning and the application process. :)
You have already shown that you are good at advocating for yourself. This is an important life skill, and I would make sure your h.s./college resume and college app states this.

Cheryl recommends the following next steps:

Tell me a little about yourself. What grade are you in? What do you think you want to do for a career? What subjects are you good at? What qualities do you have that friends and family notice about you? Do you need financial support to go to college? What is your GPA? ?

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Elyse’s Answer

Hi, Jenise—it can be hard to connect with people you don’t know very well but I recommend trying to connect on a personal level before talking about school. Maybe start out talking about your weekend and ask what she did. Or tell her you’re reading a great book she might like. Or maybe find out a few things about her by doing a social media search and mention something that seems like it could connect you two. She probably sees a lot of people and the more common ground you guys have the more you’ll both look forward to these meetings and the more comfortable you’ll be. Just asking this question means you’re the kind of person who will do great in this situation!


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Kelly’s Answer

I agree with asking what you need the most help in. Usually, when you show the advisor your genuine trust in h/her opinion, it will be a good start to building authentic relationship and down the line, you two may enjoy talking about other topics such as common interests, life stories, and etc.

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Rebecca’s Answer

Write down the topics that you need guidance on before you visit your advisor. Once you have an appointment, first things first. Introduce yourself. Tell them anything about yourself that you think is relevant. For example, do you have a major yet? Why did you choose this major? What kind of job are you interested in (if you know). Then, let them know that you have some questions or concerns. Use the topics you wrote down earlier to let your advisor know what you've been thinking about. Ask them if they have any advice in these areas. Most advisors genuinely want to help you and are happy (and impressed) when you come with your own questions.

To get to know your advisor better, ask them what they studied in college. Why did they become an advisor? What do they like about it? Let them know that you are interested in the choices people make.

Thank them for sharing with you and offering you some guidance. Let them know that you enjoyed talking with them and ask them if you can talk to them in the future.

Rebecca recommends the following next steps:

Write down your advisor's name and contact information!
Email them and thank them to speaking with you. Follow email ettiquette. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/email_etiquette_for_students.html
Always follow through on your advisor's suggestions, even if it means going outside your comfort zone.
Meet with them again in the next semester or when it is time to select classes.
Make it a habit to meet with your advisor about once a semester. Your questions will change.

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Rebecca’s Answer

Write down the topics that you need guidance on before you visit your advisor. Once you have an appointment, first things first. Introduce yourself. Tell them anything about yourself that you think is relevant. For example, do you have a major yet? Why did you choose this major? What kind of job are you interested in (if you know). Then, let them know that you have some questions or concerns. Use the topics you wrote down earlier to let your advisor know what you've been thinking about. Ask them if they have any advice in these areas. Most advisors genuinely want to help you and are happy (and impressed) when you come with your own questions.

To get to know your advisor better, ask them what they studied in college. Why did they become an advisor? What do they like about it? Let them know that you are interested in the choices people make.

Thank them for sharing with you and offering you some guidance. Let them know that you enjoyed talking with them and ask them if you can talk to them in the future.

Rebecca recommends the following next steps:

Write down your advisor's name and contact information!
Email them and thank them to speaking with you. Follow email ettiquette. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/email_etiquette_for_students.html
Always follow through on your advisor's suggestions, even if it means going outside your comfort zone.
Meet with them again in the next semester or when it is time to select classes.
Make it a habit to meet with your advisor about once a semester. Your questions will change.

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Niambi N.’s Answer

Some general topics that would spark communication between you and your advisor are topics related to your academic and professional interests. Your advisor may be able to provide you with courses you should take to stay on course as well as professional opportunities for your major/minor such as internships. Another general topic to discuss with your advisor is leadership opportunities on campus. They can generally provide you with additional guidance and direction, evening becoming like a mentor figure for you. Of course, as you're developing the relationship, you want to be personable and transparent. I hope this helps!

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Serge V.’s Answer

Jenise,

Maybe you should try to communicate with your advisor about your goals and ask him/her their advice on how to achieve your goals.

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Xochitl’s Answer

A good way to start a conversation is to ask them the question you really want help on. It’ll be easier to talk to them once you get the big question out of your mind.

Xochitl recommends the following next steps:

Ask them the questions that you still need advice on.

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Stephanie’s Answer

Hi Jenise!
I personally graduated a couple years ago and worked at my university's most active advising center and found that the best way to connect with advisors was to meet during non-peak times. Don't wait until its like a week or two before your time to enroll nor during after active enrollment time. Advisors can be overwhelmed with large groups of students so they won't be able to focus on you as much as you may like.

Come prepared! Have an idea of what you are trying to accomplish: do you just need classes for next semester? advise for internships searching? recommendation letter? Do just some research so that your advisor isnt going into the situation completely in a blank. It also shows that you are taking the initiative and looking for advise, not to be hand-holded through your time at your institution.

Lastly, get to know your advisor a bit! Most advisors have their offices decorated with stuff that makes them happy. See if you have something in common which will help them also remember you :)

Stephanie recommends the following next steps:

Go during non-peak enrollment periods
Have an idea or be prepared
Try to find something in common

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