Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: California Central Coast
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Well, I'm not one, but I can tell you what qualities I've observed in my colleague.
She handles (with some assistance, but not enough) general academic advising for roughly 350 undergraduates. She gets to know them, cares about how they're doing. We go through spates of having kids with a lot of personal/behavioral/mental health problems: she's on the front line of that. She has masses of paperwork to do, both with admissions and with graduates. She is empathetic, stern when necessary, and keeps a sense of humor pretty much at all times. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't give up the job...
In our particular case, the kids enter knowing their major, so it's not a question of helping anyone decide what the course of study will be. Students also have faculty advisors, who handle the requirements for the major.
Mom of two girls.