Business academic advisor
By Heather Doherty
August 30, 2016
Lindsay Niemeyer is an academic advisor for College of Business students pursuing the business administration degree delivered online by Oregon State Ecampus. She previously advised on-campus students seeking degrees in apparel design, graphic design, interior design and merchandising management for the College of Business. Prior to coming to Oregon State in 2014, Lindsay served as the director of international admission for Concordia University. She earned a B.S. in Advertising with a Spanish minor from Northwest Missouri State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Education degree in College Student Services Administration and a Graduate Certificate in College and University Teaching from Oregon State University.
Briefly describe your role as an advisor for Ecampus business students.
“I am the primary advisor for online students within the College of Business. Once students have been accepted to OSU, I work with them to enroll in courses and prepare for their first term. From that point, they are encouraged to contact me for assistance with course scheduling, campus resources, graduation planning, just about anything. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll be sure to connect them with somebody who does.”
What made you decide to get into this field?
“I was an advertising major in college and dreamed of working for a large firm – think Mad Men. Within a year of working for a small promotions company, I realized that advertising was not a good fit and I wanted to return to school. I began working in admissions with hopes of taking classes on the side to earn an advanced degree. I discovered that I really liked working with college students and knew that I would eventually make the transition into advising. Now I have a job that I love and am working toward my master’s in college student services administration, so I get to apply what I’m learning on a daily basis.”
What’s the best part of your job? Tell us in 20 words or less.
“Being a problem-solver and helping students gain a greater sense of their possibilities.”
What is most fascinating to you about business?
“Its versatility. No matter your career choice, business plays a role. Business is an ongoing case study of ethics, organization, management and more. It’s always present and constantly changing.”
What are the benefits of online learning?
“Many students pursuing online degrees are working, taking courses and balancing family life. They wake up early and do homework to ensure they can spend evenings with their families. They are dedicated and motivated. Online education allows the flexibility to carry on with your life while working toward a degree. Not having to report to a classroom at a specific time allows your education to travel with you, no matter the location.”
How do you build a genuine connection with students who, in many cases, you’ll never meet in person?
“This can be seen as a challenge, but I have made some great connections with students with whom I never met! My initial appointment with students is always by phone or video. The first half of that appointment is all about getting to know the student – why they chose OSU, why business, and most importantly, what are the expectations of this degree. That helps me to understand how I may best serve that student. Some students are very independent, but if they leave our conversation knowing they have somebody to turn to when questions arise, I feel that we have already established a connection. It is also important to be available to meet students on their timelines. Early mornings and lunch hours are often popular times for appointments, so I try to meet with students when it works for them.”
“It’s OK to start small. Do not overload yourself with courses while trying to adjust your schedule to fit school into it.”
How have you evolved as an advisor since you began working with students online?
“Being an online advisor has helped me be more creative in ways to make students feel they are part of our OSU community. We currently have some projects in the works to ensure our students have the connection to OSU and the College of Business. I have been able to find new ways to communicate and this opportunity has allowed me to realize the importance of flexibility in my schedule to meet the needs of our students.”
What’s one piece of advice would you like to give to students?
“It’s OK to start small. Do not overload yourself with courses while trying to adjust your schedule to fit school into it. Take a class or two to start and you can always add more as you go.”
What are your favorite activities outside of work?
“Right now I spend a lot of time reading for school, but I always make sure I fit in a run or hike. I’m determined to prove to myself that I can train for another marathon even while I’m taking classes. I also love to cook. Setting time aside to make an elaborate meal on a Sunday is one of my favorite and most relaxing activities of the weekend.”