Wish you didn’t need to attend the mandatory meetings with your advisor to discuss course lists, your upcoming semester schedule, and mid-semester grades? I used to feel the same way in college. It wasn’t until I stopped having mandatory meetings that I realized how valuable my advisor was. I had endless questions about different industries, which classes would prepare me for my future career, and how to land a job after graduation. When my first non-mandatory meeting ended, the only regret I had was not scheduling it sooner. My advisor walked through career opportunities step-by-step, addressed my concerns and provided me with some pretty remarkable advice. As I built a relationship with my advisor, she would send me information about networking events at the university and the surrounding area, internship opportunities, and resume and interview workshops.

I was fortunate to have an advisor who truly cared about her students and wanted them to succeed. I felt comfortable asking her questions and found her advice useful. Before building a relationship with your own advisor, make sure this person is someone you are comfortable confiding in. If this person is not, seek an alternative – perhaps your favorite Accounting professor. The key is to find someone who can provide career advice and insight.

Once you’ve confirmed you’re happy with your advisor, start building that relationship! Below are 5 easy tips to do so.

  1. Schedule meetings in advance. Try to send an email a week in advance asking for this person’s availability and explaining your reason for the meeting.
  2. Stick to 1-2 meeting topics. Each meeting should only focus on one or two topics at a time. This will allow the conversation to hone in on a clear answer.
  3. Set realistic expectations. Don’t go into the meeting with the expectation that your advisor will be able to answer all of your concerns and questions in one session. Some topics may take more than one meeting, and that’s ok!
  4. Be prepared. In a notebook, outline the points you would like to discuss in a meeting. Bring a notebook (and an extra pen or pencil) to the meeting – it will show that you made an effort. It will also make it easier to jot down notes so you can keep track of what you learned.
  5. Send a thank you note. Always send a thank you email after a meeting with your advisor. Aside from great practice for future job interview thank you notes, it will show that you value your advisor’s time.

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Jordan Junqua is Marketing Coordinator for Surgent CPA Review. Jordan graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree concentrated in Marketing. Before joining Surgent CPA Review, Jordan worked for a full-service luxury travel consulting firm, where she gained knowledge in digital marketing, product development, social media and public relations.