An Atmosphere of Success:
A Look at the College of Business Advising Team
aren't a success at things they hate," says Collette Niland, associate
director of advising and registration in the Emerson Cammack Office
of Undergraduate Affairs in the College of Business. Perhaps it is
the passion the advising team brings to their jobs that has made the staff
so successful. The proof, as the saying goes, is in the pudding: the University
of Illinois College of Business is well known for producing business leaders.
Many recent graduates can attribute their success to Niland and her associates.
The College of Business staff has been growing rapidly in
recent years and now has four full-time professional advisors (one position
is vacant) as well as assistant deans for recruiting, advising, and the
new Honors Program. The office has also adopted a new perspective, shifting
from prescriptive to developmental advising. Niland and the advisors view
advising as a form of teaching
The new focus is on helping students become purposeful decision makers
in determining what they want in life. This decision making includes not
only academic and professional career choices, but social and personal
choices as well. The advising office utilizes a number of resources to
reach students. Among them are the office website, weekly email updates,
printed information sheets, special events, and the Career Services Center.
In general, the College encourages students to seek learning
experiences both in and outside of the classroom. Advisors in the office
are the best resource for students to learn about some of the educational
and experiential opportunities provided by the College. Advisors direct
undergraduates, for example, to student organizations, leadership opportunities,
internships, and study abroad programs.
Collette Niland, PhD
Teresa D'Urso, MS Ed
Steve Gorrell, MS Ed
Jeff Headtke, MS
Advising Desk Secretary
The advising office is developing programs to draw the attention
of potential students. Each year in March the advisors hosts the "Business
Experience," a mini-class designed to introduce freshmen and sophomore
to the College. In the testing stage is the "Smart Analyzer"
that helps students plan their first semester program utilizing various
data such as ACT scores, advanced placement credits, International Baccalaureate,
A-Levels, and whether they have completed their foreign language requirement.
Also in development is a buddy program where upper classmen
are paired with incoming students to help them adjustment to the College
and to campus life. It is also an opportunity to foster a feeling of community.
Feedback from upperclassmen willing to participate has been positive.
Many realize it is a chance for leadership and mentoring experience as
well as a chance to connect to peers.
In light of the Enron scandals, Niland says the College
has been working to teach students that in the business sphere they have
a moral obligation to act honorably with regard to their employers and
Niland and her colleagues are the core of the Undergraduate
Affairs Office, focusing on academic and personal advice and counsel for
College of Business students. The philosophy that she not only preaches,
but practices: "If you find a job you love, you'll never work."