Q&A: Adviser finds joy in seeing students succeed

Emily Jones began her advising career at Eastfield three years ago. She recently sat down with Et Cetera contributor Amanda Smith to talk about the rewards of her job and goals for the future.

Q: Was advising what you always wanted to do? What are the perks of doing your job here at Eastfield?

A: No, I kind of fell into by accident when I was working in a part-time job in an office where advisers worked, and I end up really liking it. It kind of matched what I went to school for. I really wanted to counsel people. I like the job because I get to help people and I get to watch people graduate.

Q: What college did you go to before you started working here? What did you major in?

A: I went to the University of North Texas at Denton and I first majored in rehabilitation studies. My second degree was in rehabilitation counseling.

Q: How long have you been working as an adviser at Eastfield?

A: I started in August 2017.

Q: What are some of the difficulties of being an adviser?

A: There’s definitely some difficulties in helping students succeed in college. In high school you can talk to their teachers and help them out whereas in college students are forced to try to make the best of their classes.

Q: What do you like most about being an adviser?

A: My favorite thing about being an adviser is my team that I work with. I absolutely love watching students graduate and getting their degree and meeting the students’ families at graduation.

Q: Is there anything you dislike about being an adviser?

A: Sometimes there is a lot of paperwork behind the scenes that people don’t know about and a lot of what we would call “red tape.” You want to help a student but there are certain procedures and policies that you have to follow to get the student the help that they need, and sometimes that could take a while.

Q: What do you see for yourself in the future? Do you see yourself still working for Eastfield?

A: For the next couple of years, possibly. I am actually in school right now to become a behavioral analyst so I can work with kids with autism, and that program is going to take a while so I’ll keep being a student as well as working at Eastfield until I can move into that field.

Q: Is there a personal story behind wanting to work with autistic kids?

A: I love working with people on the spectrum. Kind of like advising, it was an accidental field that I found a job doing, and I love it. I am going back to school so I can learn even more and deliver therapy to younger kids. I’ve only worked with high school and college students so far.

Q: What is the most interesting thing you have learned from being an adviser and how has it influenced your life?

A: Students share a lot of their lives with me. Definitely no two students are alike. Everybody comes with their own unique story and goals. Not all students attend Eastfield to get their degrees. It’s helped me keep an open mind when working with people [to know] that not everybody’s goals are the same and their methods about how they get their goal are not always going to be alike.

Q: Is there any type of advice you want to give people who are interested in becoming an adviser?

A: Be sure you’re really organized and answer every email no matter how long it takes you. Because it matters to people that they hear a response from you and that they know that you’re there for them. So when a student emails you, just don’t ignore them. Make sure that you answer everybody even if it takes just a little longer.

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: I am from Sanger, Texas. I graduated in a class of 120 students. I am actually working from home right now in Sanger due to the coronavirus.

Q: What was it like growing up in a small town like Sanger?

A: I actually love small towns, and now that I’ve lived in Dallas, I really appreciate that I could have a slow, simple life. We didn’t have much to do, so we had to create our own fun, which led to strong friendships that I still have to this day. It’s been fun to live in Dallas and discover new things—food, activities—but I will always love country life.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time away from your job?

A:  I love spending time with my friends and family, planning vacations [for life after COVID-19] and baking. I also love murder mysteries and true crime podcasts.

Q: What is your biggest goal in life?

A: My biggest goal is to make as big of a positive difference as I can in my career and relationships.

Q: What is the most interesting thing about you that you would like people to know about you?

A:  I am deaf on my left side. I have never had hearing, and I just got my first hearing aid this past summer.

Q: What is your favorite genre of music?

A: I love country music.

Q: What is your favorite meal to eat?

A: Sour cream chicken enchiladas and rice. With a margarita, of course.

Q: What is one fascinating thing that you have done in your lifetime?

A: I have been in a music video. That was a fun experience that I treasure. The band never made it big, so sadly no one has ever seen the video, but it sure was a fun process.

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