Editor's Note: Every student at Iowa State University has an adviser and those advisers play a pivotal role at Iowa State in more ways than just helping each student select their classes.
This Iowa State Daily series “Speaking Success” is meant to introduce the advisers from across the university to students they have never met before and to the Ames community. This series is meant to show other aspects of the advising job while also allowing the advisers to have a space to expand upon their platform to provide advice to students across the university.
This series is also a platform for the Academic Success Center to provide relevant and helpful tips to students in a way they haven't yet done before. Every week the Academic Success Center and an adviser will provide tips and tricks to help students succeed in their college career.
Have fun and let's learn to "Speak Success."
This week's Academic Success Center tips
My name is Jenna and I am an ambassador with the Academic Success Center. I am a junior in Marketing and Business Analytics here at Iowa State. Something I have found helpful throughout the past couple years is to try to implement every step of the study cycle. Something as simple as previewing your notes before class just to get your brain ready for the new information can really make a big difference.
In order to start the school year off strong with a positive mindset, it’s really great to reflect on past experiences and goals. A great tool to use in this reflection is the study cycle.
Now is a time to start developing new fresh habits and the study cycle is a great way to structure your studies. Are you incorporating all the steps? How will you continue to incorporate this throughout the school year?
This week's adviser is Alyssa Mittleider, she/her/hers, who is an academic adviser from Volga, South Dakota.
How would you introduce yourself?
I grew up in beautiful South Dakota. I love learning, national parks, my fiancé, jigsaw puzzles, reading, guinea pigs, my faith, the color pink, adventure and my job. Some of my favorite big-life experiences include working at a dude ranch in Colorado, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef and living on the coast of Mississippi doing Hurricane Katrina relief work. I also think creating adventure in day-to-day life is important.
How many years have you worked at Iowa State University?
I have been an academic adviser at ISU for eight and a half years.
How would you explain your job to someone who doesn’t know what it is?
My job is to be a centralized resource to assist students with navigating their personal situation, their degree program and the university system as a whole. In the same day, I could meet with a student who is excited about graduation, a student who is overwhelmed and lonely, a student struggling to navigate online courses and a group of new transfer students in my Orientation course.
What is something you never thought you would do in your job?
I never thought that I would camp my way across the Australian Outback traveling with an awesome group of Solar Car students during the 2017 World Solar Challenge.
What is something you want people to know about your job?
I went to school for this! I am thankful to have a career that I was able to train and prepare for via a graduate degree. I actively worked towards becoming an adviser for years before getting my first advising job, which can be surprising to people who are less familiar with the role of a professional adviser.
What is something you want your advisees to know about your job?
I want the best for you! Sometimes hard conversations don’t feel encouraging in the short term, but I hope that students know I care about them and their long-term well-being.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I enjoy getting to know students during their orientation appointment and then developing a relationship with them, learning about their interests, answering their questions and seeing them grow personally over the next few years. Graduation day is such a fun day time to celebrate with students.
What advice do you have for students?
Take initiative! Successful people and change makers are people who take initiative to solve their own problems and the problems in the world around them. Say hello to the person sitting next to you in that lecture, attend a study abroad info session, show up to SI sessions before you get stuck in a class or run for a leadership position in a club. Don’t sit back and let the world happen around you; always keep your eyes open for ways that you can engage with people and experiences.
Favorite location to eat, hang out or work on campus?
My favorite place to eat on campus is the Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom. In the basement of MacKay, they offer a tasty sit-down lunch planned, prepared and served by students (mostly) from the College of Human Sciences. My favorite place to hang out is in the Lagomarcino courtyard, especially when the Magnolia tree is in bloom. It’s so peaceful.
What hobbies do you have?
In the summer I like to grow new things in my garden and take my road bike out for a spin. My favorite place to ride is at the Chichaqua Valley Trail near Bondurant, Iowa. I enjoy snowshoeing in the winter and hiking any time of year. I love reading and watching reality TV, including cooking competition shows and HGTV.
Favorite place to eat, hang out or work beyond campus?
I could eat green curry from Thai Kitchen or a Blaze pizza every day of the year. A favorite spot in Ames is Peggy’s Trail, which is near Applied Science Complex in west Ames. It is a great place to go for a walk or jog because it feels like you’re no longer in the middle of town.