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Advisor of the month: July 2018

Lauren Thomas, Advisor of the Month for July. Advising Matters at Virginia Tech

Lauren Thomas

University Academic Advising Center, Academic Advising Initiatives


What do you enjoy about your role in advising?
As an academic advisor and the transitional advisor in University Studies I come in contact with a variety of students. These students can be new to Virginia Tech or transitioning between majors and just need someone to talk through their thoughts and get a different perspective. I enjoy this role as an academic/transitional advisor because I feel as though I serve as their liaison between being a student and their college experience. I serve as their advocate while they are becoming acquainted with a new environment and expectations or serving as that individual who can help them navigate a transition to a different career path not seem so scary.

In what ways have you contributed to advising in your department/area?
During the past six months I have helped develop the transitional advising program into something which is easily accessible to any student on campus while collaborating with departments to help best serve students to find their best fit at Virginia Tech. I have also been working to implement what will soon be known as “Explore VT Majors” which is an initiative to have an information sheet for all undergraduate majors at VT which will provide possible career and related majors to all students. This initiative will hopefully open students’ minds to the endless possibilities when it comes to choosing a major to reach their career goals.

What advice would you give to other professionals who want to a make a difference in the life of their students?
In this role we serve in most cases as the first contact for students when they have an issue which can be from a variety of things. Therefore, I believe we need to listen more than we speak and help the student navigate their issue and not create more obstacles for them to get through. Students are human just as we are and we can only expect from them what we expect from ourselves!