My UMR with Andrea Berger - One Stop Counselor

Authored By: Mamisoa Knutson 01/03/2020

Andrea BergerHow did you hear about UMR/What brought you to UMR?
I had just moved to Rochester in the fall of 2012 to be closer to my dad and stepmom and took a temporary position supporting UMR faculty. I fell in love with the UMR community and culture and knew I didn't want to leave, so I applied and took the first full-time staff position available which had me supporting the Bachelor of Science in Health Professions (BSHP) program and the Office of Admissions. I love math and working with numbers so when a One Stop Counselor position opened up, I jumped at the opportunity and have been working in UMR One Stop ever since.

What is your role at UMR?
I am a One Stop Counselor which means I assist students and families with anything related to financial wellness, financial aid, student accounts, records and enrollment and a whole host of other duties.

Why did you decide to do the work you are doing now?
I sort of fell into the work I'm doing now, but I would say that I continue to do this work because it is so important and incredibly rewarding. I love the educating aspect of my job - that 'lightbulb' moment students have when things finally start to click. I love being able to take a stressful situation and provide resolution or at least options for a student - turning tears into smiles sometimes. What I really love is empowering students. By providing knowledge and understanding around financial topics, I like to think that students are leaving my office (or email) with the information they need to make more informed choices in their financial life. We deal with finances our whole lives, so it's important for students to begin learning and practicing their financial skills now. I am truly honored to play a small role in helping them develop these abilities.

What is one of your favorite things about UMR?
The people! From students to staff to faculty, everyone here is passionate, dedicated and caring. I am constantly amazed and inspired by the UMR community members and am grateful to be able to learn from such a talented bunch!

What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
Fiddling. I played the violin in high school and ended up drifting away from it, unfortunately. I would love to pick it back up and learn more of a fiddling style (bluegrass or Irish folk music) rather than the classical style we played in Orchestra. 

What are some small things that make your day better?
Making someone else's day better.

What advice do you have for UMR students during their time here?
Live like a student now, so you don't have to later!