While lecturers and friends might be important, research suggests your academic advisor may be the most important person you meet on campus. According to a study from Missouri State University, students with a close relationship to their academic advisor are more likely to succeed in the classroom, feel satisfied with their college experience, and complete their degrees. Consider the following tips to develop a good working relationship with your academic advisor.
Meet With Your Advisor Regularly
Many colleges schedule a mandatory meeting between freshmen students and their first-year advisors. Many new students attend, then never see their advisors again. This approach will not get you the best results. To cultivate a good relationship with your academic advisor, make sure you meet up regularly. Use the compulsory meeting as a jumping-off point, then schedule a follow-up meeting at least every semester.
It’s a good idea to book an extra meeting when you’re faced with a big decision, like which classes you should take or switching your major. Advisors are busiest around exam time and before class schedules are due, so remember to book your meeting well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Chat Openly and Honestly
Getting to know someone is a two-way street. You’ll get the most from your relationship with your academic advisor if you share information about yourself. Talk about your passions, how you feel about your studies, and what you want to do once you graduate. The more an academic advisor knows about you, the better able they’ll be to recommend classes, programs, and career opportunities.
Listen With an Open Mind
As you get to know your academic advisor, you’ll realize that he or she has only your best interests at heart. Remember this and it’ll be easier to keep an open mind during your discussions. Your academic advisor isn’t just there to help you achieve the goals you’ve already established. A good advisor will also encourage you to consider additional or new goals that may better suit your interests or skill sets. Listen to this advice and keep an open mind about it. You can always choose not to follow through later, but considering something new could help you find a new passion or goal.
Take Notes During Meetings
Listening is important, but it’s not the only action you should take during meetings with your academic advisor. Come to your meetings armed with a pen and notebook or laptop, ready to take notes about pertinent topics discussed. The act of note taking itself can make you more alert during your meetings and help reinforce what you’re talking about. Your notes will also remind you of key details weeks or months after your meetings.
Some academic advisors offer to email notes and material to students, but you shouldn’t rely on this generous offer. Your own notes can be reviewed immediately and you can feel confident they’ll contain all the information you wanted to remember.
Follow our advice and you can get to know your academic advisor better and reap the rewards.