Bronco Spotlight: Randy Ott

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PhD, educational leadership: higher education leadership, 2011; Master of Arts, counselor education, 2002

Current Job Title:

Director, Center for Academic Success Programs

Current Employer:

Western Michigan University

Describe your current job:

I direct WMU's academic success programs. I have oversight of several offices/units that are dedicated to student success. These include advising, TRiO, service-learning, tutoring, and military affairs. My position is heavy in budget management, staff direction, and program planning.

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

Rewarding is the program oversight to help students be successful at WMU. Decisions and broad directions to help students in the many ways they need it.  Most challenging is the budget management.

If you had a campus job or internship, how did they impact your career development?

I worked in Residence Life on several levels. It taught me to stay calm, work with ALL types of people, it taught me about perceptions, working hard, attitude is everything, and supervisory styles.

What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?

Be okay to be in a job you do not love, but can learn from. Work with all types of people. Learn to take care of people-you will be an ad-hoc counselor more often than expected.   And learn how students learn and move through college, NOT just how you learn or were successful in college.

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