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Heather Whedbee

College: College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
Years as an academic advisor:
Why did you choose to be an academic advisor?
I chose to become an Academic Advisor because I was a first generation college student and I relied heavily on my Academic Advisor to understand all of the opportunities available to me as a student. This inspired me to pursue a career in which I could help students think critically about their time in college and develop goals that they could leverage into strategic experiences that will prepare them for their lives and their careers.
What do you wish students knew about academic advisors?
I think our students have a great level of understanding and graciousness about our jobs and how, if they develop a professional relationship with us, we can help them navigate more than just their class schedule. I’d encourage any student to set up a meeting with their Academic Advisor just to get to know them and introduce themselves. In many cases, this is a four year relationship that requires participation from both parties. The best way to get the most out of your college experience is to be proactive in utilizing the resources available. Your Academic Advisor may just be your most valuable resource on campus.
What is one of your favorite parts of your role as an advisor?
I enjoy getting to know my students and their interests, skills, and hobbies to help them develop goals that include those things throughout their college experience. I find no greater joy than when a student feels confident in their choices, engaged in their classes, and prepared for life after college. Working together to envision how they want their life to look is extremely rewarding.
What is one piece of advice you would offer to a brand new advisor?
Be curious! It’s important to get involved in the campus community to build your professional network. Building connections across campus helps make advising easier. We are gatherers of information that we then disburse to our students, our departments, and our colleagues. It’s important to stay curious so you can be informed and engaged. We have so many amazing advisors in our campus community who have really creative and powerful practices and it’s helpful when we’re able to share and learn from one another.