Political Science Undergraduate Adviser Britain Hamm Creates Welcoming Environment for Students

Britain Hamm

Britain has been a Purdue academic advisor for just over 6 months. Students and colleagues have been open and welcoming, and Britain responds in kind.

The ambience of Britain’s office — a soft rug, warm lighting, and spare decor — speak to his approach to academic advising. Britain took care to create a welcoming physical environment because "we can’t establish anything if [students] feel uncomfortable with me.”

He also tailors his advising to each student. He begins by “finding out their why,” by asking questions and allowing students to open up to him. He wants students to feel at ease while talking to him, while moving them toward graduation.

 

An unpredictable career path

Britain knows that one’s education does not decide his or her career path. He studied zoology as an undergraduate student at Western Illinois University, and has now found enjoyment as an undergraduate academic advisor for Political Science students (and others) with the College of Liberal Arts advising team.

He traded his study of animals for study of student development theories after an undergraduate internship at a zoo clued him in to the realities of the profession — zookeeping requires a lot of manual labor, and he valued using his intellectual faculties throughout his workday.

Britain now evokes his personal experience when counseling students: he strongly recommends students complete an internship to learn first-hand the reality of their chosen profession, and he also reminds his advisees that career paths are rarely linear or predictable.

 

"Be kind"

Britain’s most important advice to students is: “Be kind — to others, to professors, and to yourself.” He recognizes that Purdue students have high standards for themselves, but everyone fails at some point, in some way.

 

Contact Britain at bwhamm@purdue.edu

 

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