Even though I did not enjoy my first advising experience, with more preparation and tweaks to my approach my most recent advising meeting was relaxed, productive, and (dare I say) enjoyable! I was able to plan out my next semester, get transfer courses approved, and ask about recommendations for electives. With that in mind, here are a few things that I adopted in my approach to advising meetings that will hopefully make your next meeting great:
1. Do most of the heavy lifting.
2. Be on time.
As mentioned in the last tip, your advisor is very busy. Between meeting up with the hundreds of people in your major and working on the course offerings for next semester, they may even be professors or researchers. Meetings in my department aren’t designed to last more than ten minutes at a time simply for this reason!
Though not all professors are known for showing up to meetings on time, it’s probably in your best interest to show up to be punctual. It’s likely that your timeliness will leave a great impression on your advisor, and it will set your meeting off on the right foot.
3. Just ask!
Remember that your advisors likely work in your major’s department and are familiar with the faculty, past students’ concerns and issues, and the courses offered, making them the perfect resource for any problems you may be having at school. Don’t be afraid to ask about electives, professors, recommendation letters, study abroad, or anything of that sort. Their job is to help you, but they can’t offer you any help if you don’t ask the right questions!
Make sure to write them down onto a sticky note [if you couldn’t tell by now, I love sticky notes!] or in a notebook and bring that with you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to send a follow-up email to my advisor asking her one or two questions I forgot to ask! Writing down the questions will help you make the most of your meeting while also saving time.