Solberg's career guidance keeps students on the right path
Education and experience can ease the transition between high school and a career. In Minot State University's College of Business, Eileen Solberg is the chief navigator of seamless transitions for every on-campus business student. It is no small feat, but Solberg, professional staff advisor, runs her operation with the precision of a drill sergeant and concern of a watchful parent.
"When I first started, my motto was to treat students how I wanted my sons to be treated," Solberg said. "As a staff advisor, I help students plan their schedules for each semester and their entire four years. Any problems they have - questions, holds, whatever - they can come to me."
Business students are also assigned a professional career advisor, who is a faculty member within their department, to visit with students about careers, internships or advanced degrees.
Although Solberg has officially worked as staff advisor within CoB for four years, she's been a fixture in the business area since 1985.
"I was originally hired by Dr. Atwood as an administrative assistant for all faculty. We didn't use computers back then, so I typed the same letter over and over," she said.
She later became the administrative assistant for the Department of Business Administration, until Dr. JoAnn Linrud, CoB dean, created her position in 2008. However, Solberg's professional transition was marginal, as she'd been unofficially advising students for two decades.
"If faculty were unavailable, the students would come to me with questions, since I was always here," she said.
By reviewing transcripts with her advisees, Solberg knows what classes a student will need to complete to graduate and when they are available. She also assists with class substitutions for transfer students.
"The College of Business has a master rotation, so I know how many classes will be taught and when. Once we put all the classes into a personal master plan, the students are so happy."
When asked how many students she advises, Solberg opened the top drawer of a three-foot file cabinet, exposing hundreds of overflowing files, and smiled. However, numbers aren't her concern, completion is. A caretaker at heart, Solberg's goal is to help students reach their academic and professional potential.
"I love coming to work every day," she said. "I love being busy, and the students are so appreciative."
Solberg and her husband, Rich, have two grown sons, Kyle, 25, and Kory, 22.