Tulane Academic Success Center
Tell us about yourself. How did you come to Tulane?
I'm from Saint Louis, Missouri. I first set foot on Tulane's campus when I
was ten years old and visiting New Orleans with my family. Eight years
later, in March of 2006, I visited as a prospective student and fell in love with
Tulane and New Orleans all over again. I was back that August for my
Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences 2010
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Master of Public Health, Community Health Sciences 2011
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
What do you do?
I coach Tulane undergraduate students to help them discover what they want out of their time at Tulane, recognize and utilize their strengths, and support and encourage them as they work towards their potential. I meet with students two to four times per month during one-on-one meetings.
What skills do you use regularly?
It’s important for me to be a good listener and to have curiosity towards my students, their goals, and their self-discovery. Communication skills are key, because building rapport with and creating a safe environment for my students is how the coaching relationship begins and flourishes. Our program is based on the International Coach Federation’s core coaching principles, and each coach enrolls in coach-specific training and works towards coaching certification.
How did you get where you are today?
I was job-hunting after graduate school and was hoping to break into academic or student affairs, a field that I became interested in after serving as a student leader and working with some of Tulane's staff and administrators. I found the posting for this job on the Tulane jobs website, and e-mailed my undergraduate academic advisor to learn more about the position. It sounded like a great opportunity to be a part of a new program on campus, and I was excited about the chance to work with Tulane students and help them thrive at Tulane.
My knowledge of Tulane and its student body (acquired by being a student here myself) coupled with my degree in Public Health (which gave me a solid background for contributing to the holistic nature of success coaching) helped me to be a competitive applicant.
What are some of the pros of your current position or role?
When I started working here, the Success Coaching program was brand new with just three professional staff members. Now the Tulane Academic Success Center has a team of more than forty Peer Educators, and we're about to add a fourth professional staff member. It was exciting to be a part of something new on campus and to see the program grow into what it is now. Other pros:
What are some of the cons?
The only con is the flip-side to the above pro: Working on a campus where I once studied and lived, it’s difficult not to think about and miss the friends I made as a student here, who now live far away. This doesn't get me down too often, but sometimes when I walk past Sharp, I really miss my Sharp 1 Short girls!
What insights did you have during your college years?
I wish I had formed better relationships with my professors as an undergraduate. When it was time to apply for graduate school, I had a hard time thinking of faculty from whom I could ask for a letter of recommendation. Even in classes I excelled in, I wasn't all that vocal and didn't feel like I had made an impression on the professor. Take advantage of office hours, and be sure to let your professors know when you're particularly interested in their field.
What academic advice would you offer incoming students?
I could never decide what to minor in, so instead I dabbled in random classes. These random classes ended up being some of my favorites. My advice is to take classes that sound interesting to you; they're probably the classes you'll enjoy the most and remember the best.
Do you have any other recommendations?
Get involved in as many things on campus as possible, and take advantage of opportunities in the city and at Tulane. The larger your network, the happier you'll be, and the more pathways you'll have to consider later on.
What do you wish you had known as a first-semester student?
I wish I'd known that I would end up loving Tulane by the end of freshman year. I wasted a lot of time during my first semester feeling like I didn't quite fit in at Tulane and considering transferring. Ultimately, things turned around and by the end of second semester, I was dreading going home for the summer.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org