Melissa Williams is an Academic Services Advisor with the Masters Programs Office. Learn more about the role her department plays in ensuring student success.
Ashton Paulitsch (AP): What role does Academic Services play in the MBA student experience?
Melissa Williams (MW): Our Academic Services team helps students with course enrollment, timetabling questions and program planning from admission to graduation and ensures that students meet all of their academic requirements.
AP: How long have you worked for the Masters Programs Office?
MW: Three years in February 2017.
AP: What was your background prior to joining the Masters Programs Office team?
MW: I worked as a travel agent for five years. I was with AMA for three years and two independently owned agencies prior to AMA.
AP: What attracted you to your Academic Services Advisor role?
MW: My past work as a travel agent focused on sales and customer service. I love travel but I didn’t excel in sales and I have always liked the customer service aspect of my roles. What attracted me to a role in the Masters Programs Office was the ability to use my customer service skills with students and that I would still be able to work with travel planning when assisting with study tour planning.
AP: What’s the best part of your job?
MW: Interacting with students and helping them through their educational journey is very rewarding.
AP: What advice would you give to MBA students?
MW: If you’re unsure about anything, ask questions. We’re happy to help you.
AP: As a former travel agent and someone who has taken our MBA students on study tours abroad, what is your favourite place to travel to?
MW: My go-to favourite place is Florida because I love Disney World. However, I like to go to new places when I travel so any opportunity I get to go somewhere new is great.
AP: What are some benefits you’ve witnessed when students take part in an international study tour?
MW: The biggest benefit that I have seen and experienced is that the students and staff get to know each other better. Students get to know their fellow classmates, Masters Programs Office staff and instructors on a different level and become much closer. It’s also a great first-hand cultural learning experience.
AP: I know you’re a huge Disney fan. What’s your favourite Disney character and theme park ride?
MW: My favourite character right now is Judy Hopps from Zootopia. I love the Rock n’ Roller Coaster at Disney World and the Indiana Jones ride in Disneyland.
AP: We’ve been asking interviewees this question in every profile so far…what do you eat for breakfast?
MW: I usually eat cereal– Cheerios or Froot Loops are my two favourites.
Interview conducted by Ashton Paulitsch