Advisor Spotlight | School of Communication Studies | Kent State University

Advisor Spotlight

Name: Amy Wilkens

Degrees: Bachelor of Arts- Psychology and Master of Arts- Higher Education

Schools attended: Kent State University and University of Akron

What is your current job title at Kent State University? I am the Assistant Director of Academic Advising. I’ve been at Kent State for eight years in academic advising and for the past three years I’ve been assistant director.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I really love my job, it’s different every day. I meet with different administrators across campus and also advise students. I help supervise a staff of two advisors and run the operations of the advising unit. I usually meet with about five students a day, 20 to 25 weekly. I’m in charge of the required advising for the whole College of Communication and Information, so I help track our progress every semester. I also help coordinate certain academic outreach to students, such as midterm review and early alerts and help coordinate the outreach to advisors to assist their students who are struggling. I also coordinate our staff development and training for our advisors, so I organize weekly staff meetings every other Friday and plan speakers and training topics.

Tell me a little about your college experience and how you found that you wanted to work within the field of communication.

Prior to working with higher education, I worked with low-income students trying to obtain funding to go back to school through Wake County Human Services in Raleigh, North Carolina. I found that I really loved working with college-aged students and helping them get funding to go back to school. So I found my passion of working with students, and when I moved back to Ohio I knew I wanted to work in higher education and I obtained a position as an assistant director of financial aid at the University of Akron and did that for eight years. I was working that while earning my master’s degree in higher education, and I did an internship in an academic advising office, fell in love with the profession, and made the switch over to academic advising.

What advice would you give to incoming communication studies freshman in order for them to succeed?

Definitely go to class and talk with your professors. They offer office hours so take advantage of them to talk about your progress in the class and get any guidance if you need it. Getting involved also allows you to feel more connected to the university and be more successful.

What advice would you give to a graduating senior as they begin to enter the workforce with a communication degree?

Keep an open mind and allow yourself opportunities to grow. Never stop learning, always be a life-long learner. Stay in touch with Kent State as well!

What is your favorite aspect of working at Kent State University?

I love working with the students and the people I work with in the office everyday. I tell my friends all the time how inspired I am and hopeful for our future by the students. Especially in these troubling times across the world, I really see hope and light for our future. And our advising team is really the best advising staff on campus, they’re a group of such dedicated professionals that I work with. They’re amazing.

What do you like most working in the communication department?

I worked for eight years in Franklin Hall, so since moving over to Taylor Hall in a brand new environment has been very invigorating! It’s a beautiful building and a really great space for our students. It’s a great work environment and I’m very happy to be here.