Please tell us about yourself and your background: My name is Jordan Wienke, I grew up in Iowa and have a BA in Journalism (Drake University) and a MA in Education (Webster University). I worked in parks and recreation professionally for over 12 years before getting into higher education. I taught parks and recreation courses at Lindenwood as an adjunct for four years before coming to Webster University as an Academic Advisor in 2015.
What do you do in your free time? I love hiking, biking, swimming and generally anything outdoors. Before my husband and I had children we traveled many places in the US and Canada to hike and see national and local parks. Our love of hiking and outdoors is now shared with our three very active children (10, 8 and 6). If you are ever in the St. Louis area and want to know where the best kept outdoor adventures are, send me an e-mail!
How long have you been with Webster? I have been here 3 years.
How do you help Webster University Online students? As an academic advisor I assist students via phone, e-mail and WebEx in a variety of ways. Beyond registration, we discuss how best to leverage your previous work experience and/or volunteerism paired with your education to help you achieve your professional goals. It’s important to me that you get everything you can out of your education. As your advisor, I am also your go-to person for any and all questions regarding your education, from “what are my elective options” to “where do I order official transcripts” to “I think I might need to switch majors” – I like to think of myself as your personal Siri for Webster University.
What are some of our students’ frequently asked questions? I think each student is different and has need different needs and questions. However, perhaps the most common questions I get are at the beginning and the end of a student’s time here. For example: “How do I register myself?” I reference this link, which has a step by step video tutorial: youtu.be/rTvCqnnbSOs or, “I just registered for my final class, now what” and I send them steps to graduation, including different ceremonies as well as the petition to graduate form found here: webster.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6mmCHsZsD4XfmV7
What part of your job is the most satisfying? I enjoy creative problem solving for my students. As an advisor part of my job is staying abreast of any and all changes within Webster University. From degree requirements to visa compliance, advisors must know what is currently the policy. This means, for example, that if I’m talking to a student and it’s in their best interest to update to a new catalog, I suggest it and explain what that means. It means, if I have a visa student who needs a term off to get married or have a baby I have a solution for that. My goal is to have happy graduated alumni.
Do you have any advice for students? I know it’s cliché but really spend some time reflecting on where and what you want your career to look like in 5 years, 10 years and 15 years from now. Read job descriptions of the jobs you want, not necessarily qualified for, so that you have an understanding of what education you’ll need and what experience you’ll need to pair with it to achieve your goal. You want your degree and work experience to work for you, don’t miss an opportunity to start doing that today.
What’s your favorite part of Webster University? Webster University is a smaller school and because it is more intimate you get the opportunity to really connect with professors and staff members. Those personal connections can be critical as you look toward your professional future. Additionally, when I was a graduate student I really appreciated the flexibility to move from on-line to face to face and back again. I would never have finished my degree if I had to pick only one modality to complete my studies.