Student advisor Alyna says it's never too late

What can you expect when you call Open Universities Australia for career and study advice? Guidance, expertise and, if you speak with Alyna—an “anything is possible” attitude. 

Alyna is an Open Universities Australia student advisor

This month, we’re speaking with a range of passionate student advisors about how they can help you take the leap from “what if” into “what next?” Here’s our chat with Alyna, a student advisor who prides herself on using curiosity to help students find the right course.

What do you love most about helping the people who contact you?

The opportunity to have empowering conversations with prospective students to help guide them towards their individual and unique study goals.

What’s some advice you’d give to someone thinking about taking the leap into study?

The best time to start was yesterday, the next best time is today!

What is the most exciting course you have recommended to a student and why? Or, what’s the most exciting new course you have seen pop up through Open Universities Australia?

There’s a subject called Stress, Self-Care and Mindfulness available through University of Tasmania!

This topic is so important now more than ever before with the couple of years we have all collectively gone through together. It’s actually a subject from the Diploma of Creative Arts & Health, which is all about the positive benefits of creative art interventions in healthcare settings.

At Open Universities Australia, we’re here to guide you there. How do you guide students in your day-to-day role?

By having quality conversations through asking great questions, spending the time to get to know the student as a whole person, and providing the right options available to them.

Do you have a success story of a student you have guided?

There are plenty to choose from! But the most memorable would be an elderly student who called looking at going back to study and finishing a law degree.

This student spoke English as a second language and was in his late 70s. He expressed his immense gratitude and was emotional by the end of the call to think he had finally taken the first step of realising a childhood dream of his!

We ended the call on a positive note, agreeing he was a great role model for mature students, saying “it’s never too late”.

What’s the biggest misconception about study that you regularly debunk for students?

That it’s too late or they’re too old to start something new⁠—see above! It’s never too late!

What is your superpower in student advisory? How does it help you guide students?

My superpower is curiosity—if you are genuinely interested in finding out more about another person it really shows. Be interested, to be interesting!

How has Open Universities Australia helped you reach your own goals?

I’ve taken up many opportunities to go out of my comfort zone over the last two years, which has instilled me with a greater sense of confidence in my own abilities. I’ve had my strengths nurtured and been given the space to learn and develop in the key areas I’ve prioritised for myself. There are lots of skills that I foresee as being lifelong transferable.

Have you ever seen a student’s confidence in themselves change from when they first called to when they enrolled?

100%! The most fulfilling calls for me personally are the ones where you can really pinpoint and notice a total shift in the student’s self-confidence and perspective on studies.

A lot of our work comes down to instilling confidence and empowering students to take that leap of faith themselves. Students normally know education will make a positive impact on their futures but let fear hold them back—it is our job to help them uncover these hidden fears and work through it.

Are you considering taking the leap into study? Why not call one of our friendly student advisors? You may just get Alyna on the other end of the line. Every call or Live Chat is friendly and no-pressure. They will help you explore your options so that you can feel confident about your future.