By Ana | February 16, 2013
If you’re not an OSU student, then what you might not know is the active role that your advisor can play in your academic experience at Ohio State–if you let them.While you may only see your advisor once a semester when you need to talk about scheduling, switching classes, pre-requistites, or whatever else the case may be, that doesn’t mean that that’s your only means of communication with them. In reality, your advisor is in contact with you often via email. One of my advisors sends me emails at least once a week about job fairs, internships, new course offerings, and study abroad trips. In fact, if I hadn’t checked my email from her, I may not have known about the pre-law program in Oxford. It really blows my mind to think that if I had just deleted that email, like I did most advisor emails, newsletters, and updates when I was a freshman, I would never have had the best experience of my life: studying abroad at Oxford. It makes me think, wow, it’s a good thing freshman Ana got her act together!
Oh, right, that’s another thing you may not know about advisors: you get LOTS of them. I have one for my major (my International Studies advisor), one for my minor (my Psychology advisor), one for my professional tract (my pre-law advisor), and one for the College of Arts and Sciences in general (she is also my Honors advisor).
I know this sounds super overwhelming, but it’s really not. I only saw my Psychology advisor when I decided to declare that minor, and she helped me create a curriculum sheet for it, outlining every class I would take.
I saw my Honors advisor when I was deciding what general education credits I would take, and when I was making my overall curriculum plan for my four years here. I also saw her when I needed to change that curriculum plan a bit.
I hear from my pre-law advisor a lot about info sessions, law schools fairs, practice LSATs, lecturers, and lots of other events. Start utilizing resources like this early on! It will make your time to apply to professional school or grad school go that much more smoothly when you already know what to expect.
Mostly, I am in contact with my major advisor. She’s the one who helped me create a curriculum plan for my major classes, helped me use my study abroad credit to count towards my major, told me about internship opportunities (leading to my current internship at the Center for Slavic and East European Studies), and sends emails about exciting lecturers, events, etc.
So, long story short: Don’t delete emails from your advisor. Read them!
Also, make sure you keep your advisor up to date on your plans. Don’t just forgo your curriculum plan and take whatever. Make an appointment with your advisor to talk this stuff out, otherwise you might not be graduating on time.
One last thing: read the emails Ohio State sends you!
You’ll get lots of them, yes. There’s the Connect newsletter, the Buckeye Net News every Sunday, and if you’re in Honors/Scholars, you’ll get emails from them, too. But I really can’t stress enough the importance of reading this stuff. Even just skimming it over is better than nothing. You never know what you might miss!