By Defne Inceoglu
With the school year having kicked off, we wanted to take the opportunity to sit down with registrar, Student Services superstar, and Living the iLife founder Sherry Dang. Read on to learn more about her role, how she can help you out, and what she loves about working in Student Services.
What should students know about what you do in Student Services?
My main interaction with students come from one-on-one academic advising; I’m the primary advisor for both MMSt and MI students. Academic advising could mean: academic planning (e.g. do all my courses work towards my degree requirements? Can I take this interesting East Asian studies course and have it work towards my degree at the Faculty of Information? I want to incorporate this cool aspect into my time at the Faculty, is that possible? Would my course load affect my part-time or full-time status? etc.); discussing options for unique student situations; liaising with other university resources and supports to manage and coordinate student situations; or financial planning.
My role also reviews all our processes and make sure that they make sense and are accurate and efficient for our goals and objectives. I often work with other graduate units or the School of Graduate studies to smooth over process hiccups together with other member of the Student Services team.
What do you love about your job?
I think this job keeps me young. The students keep me young! I love working with students. This particular role allows me to work closely with both students and faculty members. It’s a great place to be in to be able to see how a faculty actually functions. Everything is interconnected!
Why did you decided to come up with the idea for this blog? What was the inspiration behind it?
The idea for this blog came from my previous role in the Engineering Faculty (also at UofT). Our current students have always (and already) acted as sources of information for incoming students. We are merely providing a platform for our unofficial “peer-to-peer advising” that is already going on among our student population. I hope the blog demonstrates the great information and resource that our students are.
I also think students tend to listen to their peers more since they have lived experience, and more clout than an admin person!
What would you say is the #1 question you get in your role?
“Can I take this particular course?”
What is the #1 way students can ease any anxieties they have about studying here at UofT?
Read! Read our newsletters, read our website, and read our enrolment and registration guide.
What is the #1 question you get during midterms? How about near June graduation?
“What is the impact if I drop this course?”
“What are my options if I continue with this course but realize I’m doing badly?”
“When is the convocation date?”
If you could give one piece of advice about being a student in the Faculty, what would it be?
A lot of students come into the program wanting to do a huge variety of things. That is totally fine. However, given that it is a graduate degree, it is also important to be more conscientious about the courses you select. You don’t have to take everything—be more selective than in your undergraduate degree. Talk to upper years, talk to your Program Directors or Concentration liaisons, talk to Student Services. We can help you pick the right courses for you.