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Hannah Isley Adviser at Fike High School

This summer, I transitioned from my work-study role in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to my role as an Adviser with the Carolina College Advising Corps. The transition into my role as an adviser was fairly smooth. I loved my work-study job, the people in Jackson Hall, and the students I had the pleasure to work with. I was a work-study student in Admissions for all four years of my undergraduate career. My work-study job led me to the Carolina College Advising Corps, where I could continue working in higher education. I believed in the mission of the Corps and knew that my knowledge of admissions would benefit greatly in the role.

As an Admissions Assistant, I helped plan and execute events such as Admitted Students Day. This is one of the largest events our office hosted with thousands of attendees. We would plan months in advance, everything down to the smallest details. I sat in many meetings discussing ideas and ways to improve the event. This experience helped me understand how to plan events and initiatives for my own students. I also had many other tasks in the office such as greeting visiting students, responding to emails, answering questions from prospective students and much more. Each experience allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and interact with students. It also allowed me to become a resource to assist students with the college admissions process. I know that I wouldn’t be half the adviser I am today without the experiences and knowledge I gained in Jackson Hall.

Graduating and starting a full-time job during a pandemic was anything but easy. It was and still is a lot to take on. I saw friends and fellow graduates struggle to get hired as many companies had put a pause in the hiring process. I was fortunate enough to have interviewed before the pandemic started so I had my foot in the door. Still, I was afraid of what was to come. Would I get hired? Would I have to live with my parents? What was post-graduation life like going to be like?

Thankfully, I was hired and placed at Fike High School in Wilson, NC. I prepared, trained and waited for my job to begin. Since August, I have been working virtually. I was anxious at first, scared that my students wouldn’t reach out to me. However, I was determined to introduce myself to them and start helping them as soon as I could. I knew that I had the knowledge needed to assist my students, I just needed to think of creative ways to interact with them. I was so excited when I received my first meeting request from a student in August! Since then, I have been meeting with students daily. The virtual world is far different than how I imagined myself as an adviser, but I have adjusted to it. I love seeing my students over Zoom and having conversations about their future. I know that we live in unpredictable times, but I believe that if I am a constant in their lives then I’m doing my job. I am so excited to learn and grow more as an adviser as I continue with my first-year!

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