Jamil Branch wants to be your friend. And not just on Facebook. Jamil is Flagler’s Interactive Marketing & New Media Specialist, which means he spends a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social networking tools that bring people together these days. But about a year ago, Jamil realized he was missing some of the face-to-face student contact he’d enjoyed in his prior roles in admissions and student recruitment, where he chatted with new students daily and helped them adjust to their new lives in college.
So he decided to step up for Flagler’s new First Year Experience program. As a first-year adviser, Jamil can get out from behind the keyboard and interact personally with freshmen and first-year transfer students who have questions or need assistance with registration, scheduling, time management, or any of the other challenges that new college students face.
Jamil is a former college track athlete (a varsity sprinter at West Virginia University), so he knows what it means to move fast. And during registration week, he said, he was moving pretty fast to help his first-year advisees. “You’re in the eleventh hour, on a Sunday afternoon before registration, and you’re hearing from students who are in a tough situation and need help right away. I actually get an adrenaline rush,” he says, laughing. “It’s cool to be able to help someone out of a tight spot and diffuse a stressful situation. There’s always an answer; first-year students just need help finding it.”