One of the best parts about being a college student is the plethora of opportunities to study interesting material, gain experience in different fields and try new things. However, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by both the amount of choices available and the different requirements each choice comes with.
There are hundreds of majors, but each one has their own requirements for graduation. There are dozens of study abroad programs, but each offers different coursework and occurs at different times. Add gen eds, electives, internships and the struggle of navigating college during a pandemic, and being a student becomes a lot more difficult. This is where the Wayfinders come in.
Wayfinders is a fairly recent addition to the resources available to students at the University of Arizona. Launched in June 2019, the Wayfinders is a team of academic advisers who specialize in helping first-year students navigate college and “find their way, academic and otherwise,” according to the Wayfinders website.
Wayfinders’ job is to help students navigate the entire college experience, from finding the right major or minor, to figuring out which clubs and extracurriculars are out there, to helping students with something as simple as finding their academic adviser.
There are 31 advisers on the Wayfinders team, and they represent a variety of colleges and programs including the College of Fine Arts, the College of Agriculture and Life Science, the College of Social and Behavioral Science and more. Luckily for students, any Wayfinder can help any student, even those outside of the college they work in. Students can connect with a Wayfinder on their website and learn more about the team on the UA Advising Facebook and Instagram pages.
Here are three Wayfinder advisers we learned about in preparation for the new school year. If you’re interested in meeting with a Wayfinder advisor to prepare for the fall semester, you can get connected with the team here.
Maia Schneider, College of Pharmacy
Maia Schneider works with students of all majors who are working towards admittance to the College of Pharmacy. She received both her undergraduate degree in geography and her master’s degree in higher education from the UA. You can find her on the UA Advising Facebook and Instagram, providing video updates on COVID-19 related changes and general tips for student success.
Her advice for finding stability during stressful times? “Remember, you can’t do your best work if you’re not taking care of your own needs first.” She suggests grounding exercises, taking care of immediate needs and leaning on others during times of stress and anxiety.
Juliana Lincoln, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Juliana Lincoln is an advisor within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She received her undergraduate degree in family studies and human development and is currently working on her masters degree, which is in rehabilitation & mental health counseling. In her Wayfinders bio, she describes herself as a “lifelong Wildcat” who takes pride in her role of guiding students. You can also find her giving advice to first-year students on the UA Advising social media pages.
Her one piece of advice for students who want to be successful? “Get to know your faculty,” she said in a video posted to social media, “They can help you in your individual classes but also give you other opportunities.”
Miranda Schubert, College of Medicine
Miranda Schubert is an advisor in the Department of Physiology. She’s been working with higher education academic advising since 2006. In her Wayfinders bio, she lists competitive roller skating and biking around Tucson as some of her favorite activities. Her go-to advice for students who are dealing with a problem related to academics is to diversify the resources they use to get help.
She advised students in a social media post to check out the UA website, talk to friends, and ask their professors questions so that they can “make sure that you have all the information that [they] need to make an informed decision
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