Virginia Tech® home

Advisor of the month: April 2019

Leigh Anne Byrd, April 2019, Advisor of the Month, Advising Matters at Virginia Tech.

Leigh Anne Byrd

Pamplin College of Business

What do you enjoy about your role in advising?
I have always enjoyed working with people. I have worked with a wide age range of students over the years and have found a passion in working with college students. I enjoy getting the opportunity to find out the interests of my students. As an advisor, my role is more than just talking about courses, it is about diving deeper into understanding my students. I get the privilege to share their joys and disappointments and to see them grow over the years they spend at Virginia Tech. As a person, I enjoy interacting with others. Through my position as an advisor, I get to experience that interaction every day.

In what ways have you contributed to advising in your department/area?
In our office, we use a centralized advising system. This has allowed each of us to take on different duties that contribute to our roles as advisors. I serve as a liaison with one of our departments within Pamplin College of Business, as well as a liaison to a department outside of our College. This gives me the opportunity to gather information that can be beneficial to all the advisors in our office. I also work with prospective transfer students which contributes to the recruitment efforts of our college. Our National Advising Association, NACADA, is also putting on a pilot program that I have been participating in, which will allow me to bring in knowledge outside of Virginia Tech to work with our students. This past year, I have also had the opportunity to serve on our Study Abroad scholarship committee.

What advice would you give to other professionals who want to a make a difference in the life of their students?
Listen, listen, listen. Take the time to listen. Amongst the busyness of our lives we don’t always hear what others are trying to say to us. I have the unique opportunity to work with students as they move through a transitional part of their lives. We need to be there to support them and listen. I would also recommend that advisors get involved in activities all around campus. This gives you an opportunity to bring new ideas and resources to your students.