Staying on track to meet your career goals can be difficult for many college students, but with guidance from friendly academic advisers like Bobby Loud students have access to the knowledge and skills needed to succeed at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Loud is an academic adviser in the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media for freshmen and sophomore students majoring in journalism, media communication or communication studies at UNO.
As an academic adviser, Loud is responsible for meeting with students one-on-one every semester to create a class schedule fulfilling the requirements of a student’s program of study.
According to Loud, a key aspect of academic advising is building a relationship with students as they progress through college.
“You get to be the person to walk them through orientation and do that freshmen first semester advising,” Loud said. “You’ll literally be advising that student a couple of times each semester up until they graduate from your program or transfer out.”
Loud said being able to build a relationship with students is what he enjoys most as an academic adviser.
“My favorite part of advising is what I call the student experience,” Loud said. “It’s that one-on-one contact with a student that lets you build such a relationship with them that you understand them and get to know what their interests and likes are and what they bring to the university.”
For students like freshman Jessica Wade, being able to build a relationship with a caring academic adviser like Loud has positively impacted her college career.
“He’s an amazing adviser,” Wade said. “He takes the time to go through my future plans and classes with me, which helps me to understand what I need to do in order to graduate on time.”
Loud helps students gain access to the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the classroom and else-where.
“Even though you might not be in the academic classroom as an adviser, there’s many things you’re teaching the student not only about their academic program… it’s teaching them how to interact with faculty to succeed in the classroom, teaching them how to do resumes, cover letters, job searches and interviews,” Loud said.
Loud had a very positive experience at UNO, and received access to the knowledge and skills he now teaches his students. Like many of the students he advises, he was a student in the Goodrich Scholarship Program.
“There were dedicated classes [in the Goodrich Program], like auto-biographical writing, that helped you learn about yourself,” Loud said. “Up until your sophomore year, you’re with Goodrich faculty that help nurture your classroom experience and help you gain the confidence that you can be successful here, stay and belong.”
The Goodrich Program largely impacted Loud’s ability to attend college and graduate in 1991. Today Loud helps students find scholarships and financial aide assistance of their own.
Loud said his ties to the Goodrich Program and his relationship with Goodrich faculty is what led him back to UNO after working as a therapist, addiction recovery and substance abuse counselor, and working with students at Dana College, Creighton University and Metropolitan Community College.
“With my professional background, I bring all of those facets of my professional experience being a counselor, being a therapist, a pastor, an adviser and a speaker,” Loud said. “I think it not only helps in my role here, but any role I fill.”
Loud now uses the wide variety of skills he has learned along his journey back to UNO to help students shape their own journeys.
“Advising is not just selecting courses for students,” Loud said. “It’s helping, coaching, and mentoring them to shape that journey they’re on with the outcome of them graduating and continuing along the path they have chosen.”