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IN CONVERSATION WITH: Lesley Thornton, Academic Advisor

Nov 11, 2020

Lesley Thornton

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH THE SCHOOL OF NURSING?

I have been with the School of Nursing for almost 4 years, and I have been working at McMaster for 8 years.  

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR ROLE. 

As an Academic Advisor, I work with the BScN Students to ensure they are meeting the academic requirements of the program as they progress through their studies. I communicate with students regularly both proactively and reactively depending on the specific needs. Students contact an Academic Advisor for a variety of reasons including when they have questions about a program regulation, a university policy, or are looking for a campus resource. While my day-to-day work changes depending on the questions I get from students, I also have administrative tasks that get performed yearly throughout the academic cycle. These tasks include reviewing students’ academic performance, processing eligible students to graduate, working with the College of Nurses of Ontario to report graduating students, and more. In this role I also work with faculty members who teach students and assist them in supporting the students in their classes. This is usually done through conversation and consultation of program requirements and how they relate to a scenario. Finally, I also work closely with leadership members of the program, often consulting about proposed changes, and how these may impact program requirements and university regulations. There is a lot that goes on in this role, and I am lucky to work with two other advisors so we can support each other.  

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT WORKING AT MCMASTER?

I think it is such an exciting time in someone’s life when they are working to achieve an educational goal, and it can often be a challenging time, so being in a role where I can potentially help through that challenge and make that goal a bit easier to reach is something I find very rewarding.

McMaster has provided many opportunities for me to grow my career. I was able to complete a master’s degree, I have been able to work in different departments and faculties, and have really been able to learn more about the Institution as a whole that way. I have worked in the Registrar’s Office both in Recruitment and Admissions, The School of Business, and now the School of Nursing. I think this is a huge benefit of working for an employer like McMaster! Even though McMaster is large, when I am on campus, it doesn’t feel so big. I think this is helped by the many connections I have made over the years, but it’s not uncommon to have to plan a bit of extra time to walk to a meeting across campus knowing that you will likely run into someone you know.

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