How To Get The Most Out Of Student Advising

The Flatiron School Student Advising team is here to support our students through all of the ups and downs that come with pursuing a bootcamp.

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This article on Student Advising is part of the Coaching Collective series, featuring tips and expertise from Flatiron School Career Coaches. Every Flatiron School graduate is eligible to receive up to 180 days of 1:1 career coaching with one of our professional coaches. This series is a glimpse of the expertise you can access during career coaching at Flatiron School. 

Let’s face it, starting something new isn’t easy. When you’re doing an activity for the first time – whether that’s coding, designing, baking, surfing, etc. – there’s a myriad of unpredictable ways things can go awry due to simple inexperience. That’s why having guidance while you pursue something new is critical to your success the first time around. 

Luckily for our students, Flatiron School programs are now equipped with a built-in guide, otherwise known as Student Advising. 

What is The Purpose of Student Advising?

Advising is a relatively new benefit designed to help our students navigate the bootcamp experience. While many students may have an idea of academic advisors they may have worked with in high school or college – the type that told you which classes to take – not every student is familiar with “Student Advising.” 

Unlike an academic advisor that counsels you on a particular academic path to take, Flatiron School Student Advising is specifically tailored to each student’s success in the program they choose. So while your student advisor won’t tell you which program to take, they will help you succeed in the program you’re in. 

The Student Advising team is here to coach students through all of the bumps and sharp turns that come with pursuing an education, whether those be academically, professionally, or personally (because life keeps moving forward while you’re focusing your energy on learning a new skill). 

When Should You Reach Out To Advising?

The short answer is … all the time! We encourage students to establish a relationship with their Advisor at the beginning of the program and meet regularly (about every 2 weeks) so that students already know who to go to once things get hard. But, for specificity’s sake, below are some situations when students should take advantage of their Student Advisor.

When you need a bit of structure or a new plan…

When a student begins to fall behind or is having trouble adapting to their program, Student Advising is here to help assess what’s working and what needs adjusting. A student advisor will work with their student to review their daily schedule, learning style, and lifestyle and brainstorm ways to help them adapt and reroute as required. We’re here to help students get unstuck.

Setting up small goals and habits that work with your individual needs is vital to ensuring success. There are a lot of different ways to allocate 24 hours in a day, but it needs to work with your life. Since this will look different for every student, an advisor will collaborate with you to design a new plan and help you follow through. Because we love watching you win and we’ll be the first to cheer you on, family-at-graduation style. 

When you need a bit of encouragement…

At Flatiron School, we talk a lot about imposter syndrome. As many career changers know, it’s easy to drown in comparison and the intrusive thoughts that say “I shouldn’t be here.” Student Advising is here to help our students navigate through those self-doubt spirals. 

As motivators and coaches, Student Advising is here to help you overcome any obstacles that come up – whether real or imagined. 

Your advisor will be there to look at any insecurities with you, reframe them, and get past them. From community events to our student assistance program, Student Advising is there to lead you to resources when you need them most. 

Ultimately, you’re here to take a chance on yourself, and that’s worth your dedication. By having these important conversations with your advisor, you can bring to light what blockers may be getting in the way of your success. 

When you need resources or have program/policy questions…

Each student is paired with an Advisor that is an expert in the Flatiron School experience, its policies, and the resources available to them. Instead of rooting around for who to reach out to for a particular service, Student Advising is the one-stop shop for school-wide policies, community events, and program schedules. For questions about program layout, attendance, accommodations, requesting additional time or help, or anything else, Student Advising can get you the information you need, saving you time and frustration. 

Student Advising also acts as detectives within the administrative side of Flatiron School. You should be using all of your energy on learning, so let us dig around looking for answers to your questions while you focus on your bootcamp experience.

Our purpose, and Yours

In essence, Student Advising uses a “full perspective” approach to guide students through their program and to support their academic, career, and personal successes. 

Our purpose is in helping “you stick with it” by getting to know who you are and what works for you. We’re here to build relationships, motivate, and keep you accountable for your bigger purpose. Because your “why” is important. It’s your north star. But you’re more likely to succeed if someone is with you. 

About Sara McCown

Sara McCown is a Team Lead for Student Advising with Flatiron School. She has been on the Advising Team since its recent creation and has previous experience in public education and administration. In addition, she has over 12 years of experience in coaching students for success. She’s also an avid reader and always open to suggestions and discussions!

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of June 8, 2023. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.

About Sara McCown

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