Advisor Spotlight: Meet linguistics and psychology advisor Corinne Forys
Linguistic and Psychology Academic Advisor Corinne Forys says she fell in love with the education field and working with students. Get to know Advisor Forys and what she loves about being an advisor at Wayne State.
What was your undergraduate major?
I studied psychology at the University of Michigan.
What advantages do you think your liberal arts degree has given you?
I'm tremendously proud of my liberal arts and sciences degree. I was able to study literature, history, ecology, women's studies, and a number of other fields as part of my degree, and I truly believe it has made me a better citizen to have a broad education across a range of subjects. The classes I took as an undergraduate were both enriching and humbling, and I have carried those experiences throughout my career and my life. I'm also a real powerhouse at trivia, so that's a bonus.
What's one of the biggest mistakes you made as an undergraduate student?
It's hard to narrow it down to just one! I spent too long clinging to an idea of what I thought was a "smart" and "practical" major and career path, ignoring what I really loved and wanted to do. Coming from a lower-income family, I felt a huge responsibility to get out of college and get the highest paying job possible right away. Grad school seemed financially out of reach, so I didn't seek out opportunities as an undergrad that would have paved the way for a possible scholarship or funded graduate program. I wish I would have built better relationships with faculty and asked for more help rather than trying to navigate college on my own.
What approach do you take to advising?
I was a high school counselor before coming to Wayne State, so with that educational background, I tend to focus on career development as it guides academic decisions. Especially since I struggled with career decisions while I was a student, I really try to work with my students to help them gather information, evaluate their options, and then pursue the best opportunities both in and out of the classroom to help them meet their goals. I also believe strongly in the importance of unconditional positive regard (with gratitude to Carl Rogers) in advising; I can best advocate for students when they know that they can be honest with me without being met with judgment, and I trust that they know themselves best. My role is to help them identify their own strengths and goals and build a plan around them.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
There is nothing better than seeing the looks of relief and joy on a student's face when they get the help they need, meet a goal they've set, or overcome an obstacle. I get to be a passenger on their journeys and it is awesome. I also absolutely love the Wayne State campus, and after 6 1/2 years as an employee (added to my prior 2 1/2 years as a graduate student), I still can't get enough of walking around campus and seeing how vibrant it is.
Do you have any advice for incoming students?
Build relationships with faculty, university staff, and other students. Education is important, but the relationships are even more crucial in building a bridge between college and career. Talk to every adult you know about their job; there are countless careers out there that may be perfect for you, but you've never heard of them. (I didn't know about academic advising as a profession until I got to grad school, which is pretty bad because I'm sure I had one as an undergraduate.) Be resourceful and try to build your critical thinking skills, but always ask for help when you need it.
Any advice for graduating students?
Keep in touch with us! We love hearing about your successes after graduation. Continue to build your network and try to make time for community service and hobbies. Don't talk yourself out of opportunities that excite you; hearing "no" is hard but it won't break you, and unless you try you'll never know if you could have gotten a "yes."