Becoming an Associate: How to Find a Compatible Advisor
Freshman advisors and associate advisors must work together as a team in order for freshman advising to be successful. Together, you and your advisor assist your freshmen to make a successful transition through their first year of college life. You are responsible to assist your advisor throughout the year with his/her advising responsibilities, bringing a unique student perspective to your meetings.
Matching Your Style with Expectations
Since working styles and advisor expectations vary greatly, first you should determine the type of advisor with whom you wish to work. The criteria below are some guidelines to help you evaluate whether you and the advisor would make an effective advising team. As you consider these, try to decide which are most important to you.
It is important to work with an advisor who can communicate openly about his/her expectations, so you should look for someone with whom you “click.”
An advisor may be willing to reach out to his/her advisees and to organize social activities with the advising group or may expect you to take the initiative in this role, so be sure you talk about the role the given advisor would want you to play with regard to such activities.
Associate advising is a year-long commitment, so you need to make sure that you are able to commit the time required for the entire academic year and will be able to stay in touch with each of your advisees regularly.
If you are assisting a seminar-based advisor you should expect to attend all seminar meetings and prepare all expected seminar work. If you have not already received credit for the seminar as a freshman, you can register for the seminar and receive 6 units of P/D/F credit for attendance and seminar work.
Finding the Advisor with Whom You'll Work
You are responsible for finding an advisor with whom to work. Each spring you may begin matching by reviewing the lists of either seminar advisors or traditional advisors (these are posted online in late April or early May) and then contacting the advisor with whom you wish to match. The purpose is to arrange a meeting or email/phone conversation to determine your compatibility. We suggest selecting 3-4 advisors to start, since some may already be matched.
The process begins when you contact a prospective advisor to set up a meeting. Here is an sample of an email sent from an associate advisor to a potential advisor:
Hi Professor Name:
I'm an associate advisor looking for a traditional freshman advisor to
be matched up with. If you are still need of an associate advisor, I
hope you will consider me.
A little bit about myself: I'll be a sophomore next year, majoring in
Chemical engineering. My interests include research in chemistry (I
did research in inorganic chemistry and biochemistry in high school)
and nanotechnology (what I've been uroping in since IAP this year).
I'm also passionate about international development (the focus of my
freshman advising seminar) and basic education. I'm also very
interested in sustainability, having been part of the Undergraduate
Association Committee on Sustainability this past year.
My take on being an associate advisor: I'm really excited to work with
the freshmen and to help them with their transition into college. If
possible, I would like to be more than just a resource: I want to
actively interact with the group and make sure that they take
advantage of (or at least know about) the amazing opportunities they
have at MIT, such as clubs and activities, urops and study abroad.
If you would like to meet in person, I will be back on campus by June
8th or if you are away, I would be more than willing to conduct a
Associate Advisor Name
Once you agree to work together, the Associate is responsible to submit an online contract, and inform Leslie Bottari, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Donna Friedman, email@example.com that you are matched so that we can remove your name from the advisor matching lists.