5 Tips for Building a Relationship with your Faculty Advisor

Faculty advisor: The term itself sounds intimidating. Many students feel hesitant or nervous to meet with their faculty advisor for a wide number of reasons. However, advisors are incredible resources when it comes to advice, course planning, job opportunities, letters of recommendation and resume feedback.

1. Who is your faculty advisor?

This may seem simple, but it is important to know who your assigned faculty advisor is before moving forward. This information can be found in DuckWeb in your degree audit or by visiting Student Services in room 134 of Allen Hall. If for some reason, you would like to switch advisors you may do so in Student Services.

2. Introduce Yourself.

This can be over email or in-person. Advisors are assigned to many students, some of which they never have the pleasure of meeting. It is important just to let your faculty advisor know that you are around and interested in talking with them. If you are having a hard time getting started, click here for an introductory email template.

3. Set Up an Initial Meeting.

If you have already met with your advisor for Journalism 352, try setting up a follow-up meeting. J352 meetings are often very brief and short because advisors have to meet with so many students at this time. Setting up a follow-up meeting can give you more time to get to know your advisor and address any specific questions or concerns you may have.

4. Ask Questions.

Students often feel pressure to have it all figured out, but the truth is, we don’t…and that is okay. Advisors are there to help you ask questions and get answers. They have worked in a variety of fields and cities with a multitude of students and professionals. They are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to learning more about PR. Don’t be afraid to ask them when you just don’t know.

5. Make a Meaningful Connection.

While meeting with your advisor once might be an assignment for J352, having a relationship with your advisor can go far beyond that. Keep in touch with your advisor. This can be done by sending periodic emails with questions or updates or by setting up occasional meetings to go over your progress. Don’t just use them as a tool. Faculty advisors may be excellent resources for recommendations or job leads but, it is important for them to get to know you in order to do that effectively. The more your advisor gets to know you, the more likely he/she/they is to know what opportunities and feedback might be beneficial to you.

PR student Lily Gordon, who is a junior in the SOJC, said, “the first time I met with my advisor I was nervous but as soon as I entered her office I immediately felt welcome and important. Since then I have been able to build a relationship with my advisor that has helped me achieve my academic goals and create a resume that I feel confident sending to employers.”

Meeting with an advisor for the first time may seem daunting but just remember, they are there to help you…and they want to.


Written by Sophie Ey

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