With nearly three decades of experience at the BYU Marriott School of Business, Christine Roundy diligently seeks to care for and inspire confidence in students. As the academic program manager for the MBA program, she does that by meeting students’ needs one by one.
“You’re going to get through it,” Roundy gently reassures students when they enter her office with a challenge that threatens their goals. Roundy finds that students need more than just a graduation plan to be successful in school. They need reassurance that they are supported by someone who will help them navigate graduate school amidst external life challenges. Roundy adjusts to offer personalized advising that meets each individual’s needs.
“When a student comes in, they’re usually coming to me with a problem, such as they want to adjust their schedule but still make sure they’ll graduate,” Roundy says. “It’s hard as a student because you have all these stressors. My goal is to remove one of those stressors.”
Roundy started as an administrative assistant at BYU Marriott in 1996 and has worked in various administrative positions in the 27 years since, ultimately leading her to her current position with the MBA program. She helps MBA students stay on-track academically to meet graduation requirements and plan their educational goals.
Roundy has met with countless students during her time at BYU Marriott. During those many meetings, Roundy has seen just about every type of setback a student can face, and she’s helped worried students find their path forward. Roundy uses one word to describe how she hopes students will feel after visiting with her: secure.
Roundy’s one-on-one meetings with students inherently promote an advising style that’s less about driving outcomes and more about helping individuals. These efforts are crucial in furthering BYU Marriott’s vision of transforming the world through Christlike leadership.
Roundy provides practical answers for students on things like adding a class, adapting a schedule to their needs, and pivoting logistically when unexpected needs arise. Even so, Roundy looks at advising as more than strictly administrative.
“There’s also the welfare of our students mentally, and I’m concerned about that too,” Roundy says. Relieving worries about the path to graduation is just one way that Roundy helps students feel secure. “I try to make sure certain problems have been addressed and that they feel better about their situation than when they came in.”
The seasoned academic program manager knows that an MBA experience is more than just what classes you take and when. Students’ mindset and confidence also shape their MBA experience and affect their wellbeing.
“I feel that sometimes people build up the expectation that their MBA experience will be the same textbook process as everyone else,” Roundy says. Part of Roundy’s job includes helping students appreciate their own unique journey. “It’s fun when, by the end, they see the joy in their journey, even though going through it was challenging at times.”
Ultimately, Roundy has high hopes for the MBA students she helps. By focusing on the individual, the advisor helps students work through obstacles to achieve what’s important to them. Roundy says, “My vision for the students here is to become the best at what they want to become.”
Writer: Alec Pope