COBA’s Undergraduate Advising Team Shares Tips with Students
The College of Business Administration's Undergraduate Advising Office prides itself with guiding undergraduate business students through their academic programs and providing them with the support they need to be successful. Advisors help students align their degree plan with their professional interests and alert them to professional development opportunities that will make them more competitive in the job market.
Since last March, the Undergraduate Advising Office has worked tirelessly to deliver all of the same support to students remotely, by leveraging technology. Throughout the summer, the team conducted virtual orientations and virtual advising session to welcome freshmen and transfer students. They also worked with our returning students to enroll for fall coursework. As they prepare to advise students for the Spring semester, we asked the team to share their insights on advising, professional development opportunities and why they enjoy working as advisors.
Why do you encourage a student to get involved in co-curricular activities?
Answered by Sacnité Ramos, Director of Undergraduate Programs
Being involved in co-curricular activities on campus helps students become more well-rounded individuals. The College of Business Administration offers many different activities in which students can get involved, such as the Employer Speed Networking, Mock Interview with Employers, Corporate Academies, and corporate tours. All these activities are part of the UTEP Edge at COBA program, which provide professional development and networking opportunities that prepare for their future professional careers.
All business students are encouraged to join COBA’s professional organizations as early as their freshmen year. These organizations allow students to grow their network of friends with common career goals, learn more about their field of interest, build connections with corporate partners, and participate in activities that build leadership and business skills. These experiences enrich the students’ college experience and help them launch into their career of choice.
What are important tips students need to know when it comes to digital communications with their advisor?
Answered by Fernanda Mendoza, Program Advisor
(Advises students majoring in General Management, Human Resource Management, Entrepreneurship, Operations and Supply Chain Management)
There are several important tips for students. In order to be able to respond as quickly as possible, it is critical for students to add their UTEP identification number in all of their advising correspondence. It is also important that students use their UTEP email account when emailing an advisor as all university email correspondence is sent to this account. I also urge students to be patient and to avoid sending multiple emails because this will delay advisors in their response time. Our priority is always to assist students as fast and efficiently as we possibly can. Finally, I recommend that students share specific questions with any relevant information in their emails so that we have what we need to be responsive to them.
What's the most common question students ask you?
Answered by Rosalva Alcazar, Administrative Services Coordinator
One of the most common questions students ask me is “how do I know which classes I need to take?” and “how many classes do I have left to graduate?”
I advise the students to learn how to run their degree plan in Goldmine, review the catalog they are following, and make sure the major and minor of interest are correct in the system. This will give them a clear understanding of how to plan courses. I am happy to guide them over the phone or provide them with how-to videos that illustrate how to run degree evaluations. For specific questions about their degree plan, I encourage students to email their advisors.
For you, what are the joys of advising?
Answered by David Sterling, Program Advisor/Lecturer
(Advises students majoring in Accounting)
As an advisor, we work with students from day one until graduation. The joy in advising comes from being able to help students overcome obstacles and provide guidance along their academic journey. Advisors see students from diverse backgrounds and we have the unique opportunity to help them transform their lives. I take great joy in seeing students cross the stage with a huge smile – ready to take on the world. Helping students achieve the goal of graduating from college and starting their dream careers – that’s the joy of advising.
Do you have tips for students who are adjusting to online learning?
Answered by Jana Cazares, Program Advisor
(Advises students majoring in Marketing, International Business, General Business)
Online learning has many advantages as well as its unique challenges. It is important to create certain habits and skills to successfully navigate online learning. An effective online learning strategy will you manage your time and stay focused on the coursework. The good news is that these skills can effectively translate into a traditional classroom setting as well. Below are some tips for a successful online learning strategy:
- Create a study space and stay organized:
Know the way you learn. What works for you? What doesn’t?
- Treat your online course like a “real” course:
You must “show up” to get any real value out of the course.
- Manage your time:
To stay focused, try time blocking and draft a weekly schedule to follow.
- Hold yourself accountable:
Responsibility is key. Be disciplined and schedule time for each course.
- Build your own virtual network:
Schedule a meeting with your instructors during office hours to build a relationship with them. Engage with fellow classmates to help each other throughout the semester.
What was your favorite course when you were an undergraduate student?
Answered by Carla Romo, Program Advisor
(Advises students majoring in General Finance, Financial Analyst, Risk Management, Economics, Information Systems)
My favorite class as an undergraduate student was Business Finance (FIN 3310), taught by Dr. Erik Devos. As a mathematics major, this course was one of the first upper division business classes I was able to take. I truly enjoyed the subject and the way Dr. Devos explained the content to us. After taking his course, I enrolled in as many business courses I was allowed within my major. I also became deeply interested in reading finance-related articles and books.
What is your approach to advising?
Answered by Susana Iscapa, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Programs
Our approach to advising is to provide our students all the tools and connections they’ll need to become successful at the College and in the real world. On a functional level, we teach our students how to run their degree plans and encourage them to take ownership of their educational experience.
We highlight the benefits of participating in different programs, such as our short term Faculty-Led study abroad courses, professional development workshops and career development assistance through the College’s Career Development Manager. In addition, we introduce them to the other services the University offers, such as the Student Engagement and Leadership Center (SELC). We also promote student organizations at COBA, which students may get overlook as they become oriented to the rhythms of college life.
If a student’s interest is aligned with our corporate academies, we strongly encourage them to meet with a Student Success Manager to learn more about them.
When we advise our students, we might not have all the answers, but we are committed to help students find an answer or connect them with the right person.