One Year Later

by Olivia Miller
@olive9124

A year ago on May 23rd, I began my professional journey as an Academic Advisor for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the Arts & Sciences Advising Center. In some ways it seems just like yesterday I was walking to work full of nerves, but on the other hand – I have grown, experienced, and learned so much that it seems like I have been here for a year (and some days it feels like longer). While graduate school prepares you as much as possible for the field, nothing is better than actually being a full-time professional putting what you have learned in the classroom at play every day. In the past year I have met with students to discuss a variety of things – enrolling new freshmen, students on academic probation or those who have been academically dismissed, changing majors and minors, looking for education abroad opportunities, etc.

This past year has been all about growth, as should be expected in the first year of a new job. I have grown in self-confidence, in my abilities as an advisor, strengthened relationships with advisees and with other units on campus, as well as involvement on campus. While my favorite part of being an advisor is building those relations with students, I also greatly appreciate the ongoing professional development opportunities. In attending a national conference, our campus-wide advising conference, and building in reading time I have held on to the role of student as I continue to grow and learn about my profession in advising.

The most important thing I have learned this past year is the importance of grace, patience and understanding that you do not and will not know everything. As someone who strives hard for perfection, this year has been at times challenging – but I also understand that I am still new and still growing. It is vital that I understand that growth is ongoing – it does not stop simply because I met a certain benchmark on a calendar.

As I enter my second year, I want to focus on a few things. First, continued work on my self-confidence. I was very hard on myself with my first self-evaluation, and discussed this with my supervisor. I should not be so hard on myself, but rather continue to learn and grow as well as reflect on how I am doing. I also want to focus on continuing building those relationships with my advisees; I want them to know that I am here for them and can help them achieve anything while in college. Lastly, I want to continue to grow professionally – I was recently been elected to our campus’s advising association, and am looking at opportunities to write for NACADA. I am hoping to build upon the solid foundation I have made in the past year for future success.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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