My Melbourne with Stephen Campitelli

February 14 / 128

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What is your official title?

Academic Skills advisor at Academic Skills, Student Services.

How long have you been working at the University?                

This is my fourth year.

What is a typical day like for you?

I get in around 8.30 in the morning, check my emails and have a coffee. I look at my schedule as what we do falls into two types of work. First, we see students individually in what we call itutes, they are half hour sessions we have with students where we give them academic advice. They can self-refer or self-book which is a great system and it’s a free service. Most students see us for writing issues, they come with a draft of their work. We look at it for them, give them advice on how they are going and answer their questions. That forms a lot of what we do and in busy times of the semester we might see up to eight or nine students a day. Second, we also do group workshops where we present on things like effective presentations, writing academic assignments and effective reading. I even do one during Orientation Week called “Aussie English” for international students.

What's your favourite thing about working at the University?

There are a couple of things but the main thing for me is working with the staff and students here. The range of students we see is really interesting because we see first year undergraduate students, final year Ph D students, local and international students from the Faculties of Education, Arts and Science and young and older students. We feel we are doing something which makes a difference. A common thing we hear is students saying they wish they knew about our service earlier. The other thing I love is the campus itself. Parkville is great. I just love walking around it. I love the University gardens. I sometimes take my lunch in the gardens and enjoy my environment.

Talking about the campus, where is your favourite place to go for food or drinks?

Definitely Egg, the Japanese/Chinese place which is in the Ground Floor of the Union building. The curry there is beautiful.

While you've been here is there any advice you have received that you'd like to share?

Not any specific advice I can recall but it’s more dealing with a lot of good people. I’ve been lucky dealing with people who have the best interests of the students in mind. There are lots of really good students who are keen to do well, studying what they are interested in. That’s another reason why I like my job as we get to make a difference to what the students are doing.

Does your office have some events coming up that you'd like to share with us?

On February 6 and 7 we have Professional Development days which we are running like a mini conference. On 7 February it’s an external focus as speakers are coming to us. We have academic staff from the campus talking about student expectations, we have a student panel and a Ph D panel. We have also invited other academic skills advisors from Monash, RMIT and Latrobe to come in and participate. The event will be at Alan Gilbert building which is where Academic Skills is located.

Finally, what's something that your colleagues might not know about you?

I am a big fan of post-apocalyptic, dystopian future books and movies, end of the world as we know it. I love that genre.

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