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Empowering Success: Behind-the-scenes with academic advisor Jenna Wargo

Thursday, June 7, 2018

When students graduate, the list of people to thank typically begins with their family and perhaps an influential professor or two. But credit also is due to the countless staffers and administrative professionals who work with students on a regular basis, from center directors and student organization liaisons to academic advisors.

Jenna Wargo, a Purdue alumna and senior academic advisor at the Krannert School of Management, is among that important group.

Wargo, who joined the Krannert advising Office in 2011, counsels undergraduate students on their plans of study, course selection, registration, career planning, and a variety of academic issues. Prior to that, she worked on Purdue's campus in the Office of Engagement. She also has served as a Faculty Fellow for Harrison Hall, worked with the Center for Career Opportunities and International Students and Scholars Office, and mentored student-athletes in Purdue’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

“As an advisor, I view my role as a go-to person for students' questions and concerns,” Wargo says. “I am a connection point for those who are seeking information on available campus resources. My goal is to guide students in their educational and personal journey and to provide knowledge and guidance that will assist them in navigating Purdue and its degree requirements. I also work with students to find opportunities and experiences that fit their personal and professional aspirations.”

Although most students don’t make a point of thanking their advisors, Wargo’s impact on spring 2018 graduate Kelli Keough’s Purdue experience compelled the dual-degree recipient from the Krannert School and the College of Health and Human Sciences to share her gratitude personally.

“I wanted to reach out and thank you for all of your help over these past four years,” Keough wrote in an email to Wargo the day after graduation. “I truly believe my successes would not have been possible without your constant communication, guidance, and encouragement along the way. Thank you for being such a valuable resource and playing such an instrumental role during my time at Purdue.”

Keough, who will begin her professional career with Kraft Heinz as a customer retail manager in July, also extended her gratitude to Wargo’s colleagues in the Krannert advising office as well as the school’s support staff. 

“I think too often people don't get recognized for all the behind-the-scenes work they do, and I didn't want to leave without letting you and everyone at Krannert know how much I appreciate all you've done,” she said.

For Wargo, it’s all part of the job.

“It’s rewarding getting to know the students and helping them achieve their goals, whether it be earning a certain grade or obtaining an internship or job,” she says.Seeing the students succeed is what gives me the most satisfaction.”