I remember hearing horror stories from friends who were in doctoral school about working with their adviser. The students researched what the adviser wanted them to research in order to further their own agenda, not what was best for their advisee. Advisers were inflexible and demanding, impatient and never available. In my case, I had a wonderful adviser. He moved me along in my program at a brisk pace because that was what was best for my situation, a long-distance student working full-time with a family. He guided me toward a dissertation topic that mirrored my interests in human resource development and ethics and chided me when I kept adding to my idea. He said, “the best dissertation is a done dissertation” and was all to happy to say in a Russian accent, “No! Too big!” of most of my ideas. Eventually I had a workable research project and he supported me with hard to find articles upon request and business contacts in the field. When I was offered my position at WSU, I realized my PhD would need to be completed by August instead of my original deadline of December. In a panic, I emailed my adviser and relayed the situation. He moved heaven and earth to get me done early including being available for revision review from Brazil in June and convincing the rest of the dissertation committee to come in during the summer to hear my defense. I would not be here without the support of my adviser, which is why I take advising very seriously. Each semester I contact all of my advisees (an average of 45-55) to remind them to schedule appointments with me using the online advising scheduler. We meet for 15 minutes and I ensure they leave with their registration code, a plan for classes for the following semester and a plan for graduation.
I am often asked to write letters of recommendation and I do so sparingly. I must know the students very well and actually believe they will be an asset to any organization. I’ve written letters for scholarship applications, graduate school, law school and employment. Recently, I completed a reference for a former student toward her CPA application and last year I completed two references for students who were applying for a year-long internship at a Catholic missionary institution.
Perhaps the student development of which I’m most proud is providing opportunities for students to present their work at local and regional conferences including the Midwest Academy of Management, Posters @ the Capitol, Judith Ramaley Celebration of Scholarship and the MNSCU Undergraduate Research Conference.
As a half-time member of the human resource management program faculty, I am happy to report that our team is working harder than ever to update the curriculum and provide opportunities for students to gain real-world experience in the field before they graduate. Dr. Tessema has already initiated an opportunity for students to take the Assurance of Learning exam from SHRM and we are exploring the possibility of supporting the APHR certification for graduating seniors through SHRM. My role has been to explore the possibility of integrating employee health and safety into the curriculum while providing an opportunity for students to earn a certification that will give them a leg up on their job market competition through completion of an OSHA 10 certification.
Below are the overall goals I have set for myself in contribution to student development. Please click the hyperlinked goal to view a discussion of each and supporting documentation.
- Provide quality advising and a pathway to graduation for each of my BUSA/HR advisees.
- Write letters of recommendation upon request.
- Provide opportunities for business students to present research at local/state/regional academic conferences.
- Provide opportunities for business students to earn industry certifications that enhance their job prospects.