Middle Level Program Advisor, College of Education
What year did you start at NIU? 2018.
Where is your hometown, and where do you reside now?
My hometown is Calumet City, Ill., and I currently live in Peru, Ill.
Describe your typical day—what do you do while at work?
Throughout the course of my day I meet with students to make sure they are on track and following the plan we worked out for them to successfully complete their degree in education. As we approach registration, I meet with students to make sure they are registering for the correct classes for the following semester.
Where did you attend school? What degree(s) did you earn?
Associate degree in science, South Suburban College, South Holland, Ill.; Bachelor of science in education from Calumet College of St. Joseph’s, Whiting, Ind.; currently working on my master’s degree in higher education and student affairs here at NIU.
What advice would you give to students either just starting their college journey or currently attending NIU?
My advice would be to balance classes with involvement on campus, and to not lose sight of why you are here.
What do you like about working at NIU?
When I was first hired at NIU I worked for the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office. The moment I stepped foot on campus for my interview, NIU felt like home — something that I wanted to be a part of, to belong to. That is exactly what I found. I truly feel like NIU is home and see myself here for a very long time.
What is your favorite campus event?
I enjoy coming to the football games in the fall. Fall is my favorite season and I am a huge football fan. The two just go together naturally. I also enjoy the first week of classes. The university has many events going on that week to make students feel comfortable.
What is your favorite memory of NIU?
In my personal life it was getting into the master’s program and taking my family to a football game last year. Professionally would be getting hired in my current position.
What’s the most important thing you could tell a prospective student about NIU?
That we have multiple resources on campus to help the student be successful while they are here at NIU. We also have a very caring staff that is willing to help the students as well.
Are you a member of or hold a position within a professional organization? If so, what organization? What is the purpose of that organization and how does being part of this organization benefit you in your roll at NIU?
I am a member of the Kappa Delta Pi College of Education Honor Society. I am very proud of that accomplishment. I was never the “smart” student in high school. I was “C” average at best. So, to be able to part of an honor society means so much to me. The honor society offers conferences and allows you to make connections with other members around the country and world. Having those connections and resources can only make everyone better. I have also joined NACADA and ILCADA, which are organizations for advisors. These two organizations have annual conferences and offer trainings. As a first-time advisor I am looking forward to all that I can learn through those organizations.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I enjoy fishing and crocheting when I can relax. Crocheting allows be to relax and create at the same time. Also being a huge sports fan, I enjoy watching football and baseball games, either in person or on TV.
Jorie O’Brien is a Middle Level Program Advisor, College of Education, Curriculum and Instruction.