Advisor: Stay True to Yourself

Mike Shingle knew almost nothing about the university environment when he started college.

Today, he helps students navigate the same questions he had as a student.

The irony isn’t lost on the Pacific University academic advisor.

“One of the reasons I love what I do is because I can help students with the very things that I needed help with when I began college,” he said. “I was definitely not aware of resources or what I needed to do to actually be successful.”

Shingle started out studying science, thinking he would pursue pharmacy or medical school. During his junior year, though, he realized that he hated going to his job in a science lab but loved his second job, working at his college’s cultural center. He spoke to his own academic advisor, and the lightbulb went on.

“It was then I realized that going into a career where I could help college students was important to me,” he said.

Shingle completed his bachelor’s degree in biology, with Spanish and chemistry majors, and went on to earn a master’s degree in college student services administration.

Today, he serves Pacific’s undergraduate students, helping them evaluate their goals, select their course of study, and navigate resources and policies — and he hopes his advisees find the same contentment he has.

“One of my favorite sayings is, ‘Stay true to yourself,’ because it was only when I truly listened to myself and was honest with myself that I was able to find satisfaction in my career choice.”

First-Generation at Pacific | About 24 percent of Pacific University undergraduate students are “first-generation,” meaning they are the first in their families to attend college. Pacific faculty and staff are seeking out ways to better support those students through their college experience, including telling their own stories about finding academic and career success as first-generation students.

Jan. 5, 2017