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Advisor of the month: March 2020

Amanda Armstrong, March 2020, Advisor of the Month, Advising Matters at Virginia Tech.

Amanda Armstrong

Pamplin College of Business

What do you enjoy about your role in advising?
As an academic advisor, I'm grateful for the opportunity to build relationships with students and support their goals and curiosities over time. I do this by learning about students' past and current experiences while sharing some of my own. I enjoy working collaboratively with students to find solutions and learning about their challenges and successes when trying new things (e.g., tutoring, relationships, majors, internships). I am privileged to be in a position where I have the resources and abilities to advocate for the students I work with, no matter how challenging, vulnerable, or time-consuming that process can be. Finally, I enjoy learning from students—they keep me grounded and constantly prompt me to reflect on how and why I do this.

In what ways have you contributed to advising in your department/area?
Since starting my role in September of 2018, I have participated in several professional development and networking opportunities within Pamplin and across the university. At VT, I was a member of the Improvement and the Scholarship of Advising group for strategic planning initiatives; I was recently nominated and elected onto the Virginia Tech Academic Advising Network's (VTAAN) Steering Committee; I will soon begin working with Pamplin's Peer Advising program; I serve as a liaison to the Student Success Center for Pamplin; I assist with the Assurance of Learning Committee in Pamplin; and I have supported outreach initiatives for first-year students and PUMP (undergraduate mentor program). I'm looking forward to continued involvement with others on campus!

What advice would you give to other professionals who want to a make a difference in the life of their students?
For me, developing the ability to be vulnerable with others is a valuable skill that impacts all aspects of our lives. It takes time, effort, and compassion to be vulnerable with students and to take part in their vulnerability. Just as your experiences have influenced how you interact with others, the decisions you make, and the values you hold, so too do students’ experiences. Just one conversation with a student could make a world of difference, and you have the resources and power to support their efforts when they might feel powerless or defeated.