The College of Science Advising Office is here to help students succeed in their academic life and beyond, and Virnin Bonner is an integral part of that team. Virnin has been working at UNT since 2015, but was a student himself here earning his Bachelors and his Masters. In his role as an academic advisor, Virnin meets with upwards of 525 students a semester! He's always got a few helpful tips up his sleeve, so read on to learn a little bit about his background and even catch a few words of wisdom, too:
Q: Why did you get into academic advising?
V: I previously worked for the Housing Department and wanted to find a way I could impact students from a different perspective. I gained tons of Student Affairs experience and wanted to diversify myself and obtain some Academic Affairs knowledge as well.
Q: What is your favorite part about your job?
V: I love being able to assist students with whatever it is that they need and things they are unware they need. It always nice being able to provide students with the support they were seeking as well as some additional aid.
Q:What is the last thing you read for fun?
V: I recently read an article in the most recent NACADA journal about pre-health students perceptions and persistence, and I enjoyed it so I'd consider that fun.
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
V: I enjoy working out and have taken that hobby into a part time position as a Personal Trainer.
Q: What is your favorite thing about UNT?
V: I don't know if I have a favorite as there is so much to like but I'd say one of my favorite things is the feel of the University. We are a large institution however, it feels much smaller than it actually is. This allows for a close knit vibe and supportive environment.
Q: What common mistakes do you see students making? How would you advise them to correct these?
V: I don't think students come in to see their advisor enough. I recall my time as an undergrad, I came in every semester and my junior year was the last time we offered August commencement ceremonies so I would not have known about this change had I not seen my advisor. I'm currently seeing Senior who believe they can't graduate until December 2019 because they are unaware of the reduction in Advanced Hours. I would make it mandatory for students to not only see their advisor their first 2 semesters but an additional 2, either once they reach 59 hours or 90 to ensure they are up-to-date on all things regarding their degrees.
Q: What is the best advice you can give to our COS students?
V: The best advice I could give our COS students is to utilize as many resources on campus as they can. College is expensive and you pay tons of fees for various things; go use them! You get a bunch of business cards for free because you already paid for them. You can see a mental health professional for free, because you already paid to. You are going to procrastinate on most things; don't waste time AND money.
To contact an advisor, visit https://cos.unt.edu/advising/contact-your-advisor.