Who to Get to Know at College

These school officials are on campus to help you.

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Most college students expect to interact with professors while in school. But a college campus is full of other people who can be tremendous resources for students as well.

Here are some ideas of people on a typical college campus that students should get to know.

JULIE:

College is your child's first chance to be on his or her own, and that can take some adjusting for parents. But it's good to know that a typical college campus has many people who can support your child and who are interested in his or her success. Here are some to be aware of so you can suggest them to your student when the need arises: 

1. Campus health center employees: College means your child is in charge of his or her everyday health, probably for the first time. Campus health centers are set up with the needs of college students in mind.

[Find out how to stay healthy at college.]

Remind your child that the people who staff these centers—doctors, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, and counselors—are available if the need arises. 

2. Academic advisers: Your student's interaction with advisers should be more than a sign-off on an enrollment form. A good academic adviser will be able to help your child with all kinds of issues, from scheduling conflicts to alternate education plans and basic study abroad information.

Advisers can be found in general university advising offices, academic schools, and even in special programs, such as the honors program. Sometimes, even a favorite professor is able to act as an academic adviser. Encourage your student to seek out all the advisers that are available, and to certainly look into other options if he or she isn't clicking with the assigned adviser. 

LINDSEY: 

I've been lucky during the first two years of my college career when it comes to campus resources. I became involved with several groups during my freshman and sophomore years that allowed me to meet some influential people on campus who I now use as mentors, sources for my stories, and contacts when I need a question answered. Here are some of the people whom I have found to be most valuable. 

1. Department staff: Working at New Student Orientation this summer, I got to meet dozens of campus employees who come together in one place to educate new students about the university. The people I enjoyed meeting most, however, were those from the journalism school.

Being acquainted with journalism internship coordinators, recruiters, and advisers made me an expert about my own major, and will hopefully come in handy in the future when I want to pursue an internship or take an interesting journalism elective.

Get to know influential people within your own department to ensure you're getting the most from your schooling.

2. Career services representatives: I always tell new students that one of the most untapped resources on campus is the career services office. They receive information about hundreds of internships and job applications that students can begin applying for as soon as freshman year.

[Explore jobs and internships for students at your school.]

Our career services representatives say that the majority of jobs are being found through referrals or networking. Use your career services office as your "in" to a company or position that interests you.