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Marilyn Richards

Academic and Career Advisor

WSC 2500

What was your major exploration path?

My first major, Early Childhood Education, was changed after I had life experience as a mom of young children, and decided I wanted to add variety to my palette. I first explored nursing, and realized, that although I love helping people, I didn’t love the everyday environment. I was then introduced to Human Development and Family Studies. This was a study of everything I loved, and it gave me the opportunity to consider a graduate program that eventually lead me to a career in academics.

What jobs and careers have you had since college?

My first job after a year of college was being a mom. This job helped me develop transferable skills in areas such as financing, scheduling, organizing, persuading, communicating, managing and risk-taking. Over time, I put those skills to practice in another role as an owner and operator of a textile company. For 18 years, I monitored orders, scheduled employees, and managed payroll, billing and customer service communications. After returning to college to finish my undergraduate degree I worked as a supervisor of the testing center at BYU Salt Lake Center. While employed in this position, I earned an MPA, and started a career in academic advising and teaching student development courses such as career exploration.

What are your areas of specialty when it comes to advising? 

One of my gifts is helping students understand how to best use transfer credits, both to and from other institutions to their advantage. Additionally, my experience as a non-traditional student provides insights and strategies to students who are returning to college after spending time away. I am a fan of providing resources and relevant information so that students can make informed decisions about their academic and career options.

What are some of your hobbies and interests? 

Some things you will find me during my down time are gardening, quilting, and playing pickleball.

Are you involved with any groups or organizations on campus?

For a number of years, I have been involved in a group that encourages assessment and research related to advising and student success. Together with other advisors on campus, I have specifically studied how connections between students and others (other than the classroom) can significantly improve their academic experience.

Most recently I was made the advisor of the non-traditional student association on campus. This association offers support and resources to non-traditional students.