Get to Know Alexandria Stephenson
Alexandria Stephenson is the academic advisor at USP. She was nice enough to answer a few questions for us. Alexandria comes from a background of teaching and explains how she has realized her love and passion for academic advising after working with USP for 7 months. She recently experienced her proudest moment thus far when her first student got accepted into the University of Houston. We are so happy to have Alexandria as part of the team and cannot wait to hear what successes await her. Keep reading to learn more about Alexandria Stephenson.
USP: Tell us about your background. Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
Alexandria: My name is Alexandria Stephenson. I am originally from Los Angeles California. I grew up there, only departing to move to the Bay Area after college where I began teaching. Upon leaving the Bay Area, I moved to Brooklyn, NY where I continued to teach for a few years before transitioning into academic advising.
USP: Where did you go to college?
Alexandria: I began my higher education journey at Santa Monica College, a local community college in the Los Angeles area, and then transferred to UCLA where I received my B.A. in Anthropology.
USP: Who have been your strongest influences in life?
Alexandria: My mom, as she always made it a point never to say “no” to my brothers and I. I think this allowed me to understand that there’s always a way to achieve what you’re after or get something done, and that everything will happen in due time. My cousin Crystal was also a huge influence on me as she was a role model and very instrumental in helping me to achieve my college degree by introducing me to various programs at my community college that would help me to transfer, as well as helpful individuals at UCLA before arriving there.
USP: What led you to this career?
Alexandria: I began my career in academic advising while at UCLA. During my junior year, I had a peer counselor who encouraged me to become one next year to be able to share my experiences and serve other transfer students at UCLA. As a peer counselor, I developed a love for this work. As I began to make a very intentional shift from teaching to academic advising, I discovered an opportunity to work with USP in helping students with great academic prowess to attend college in the U.S.
USP: How long have you been at USP and what has been your proudest experience since working with us?
Alexandria: I have had the pleasure of working with USP since July 2021. My proudest experience is that my first student has just been accepted into the University of Houston!
USP: What is the main mistake you see in the recruiting process?
Alexandria: I believe the main mistake evident in the recruiting process is that students must understand that their efforts will serve as a huge determinant in where they will likely be able to attend schools. If they aren’t aware of this, unrealistic expectations can harm all parties involved.
USP: Is there any student or client that you’ve worked with that has had a lasting impression on you?
Alexandria: One student that has had a lasting impact on me wasn’t particularly bought into the idea of attending college, but upon working together, we were able to determine how going to college could serve his interests in the future. Further, as we got to know each other, and became more comfortable with each other, our interactions became really joyful. It was such a pleasure to see his growth in such a short time.
USP: What is your most important advice for a student and for the parents?
Alexandria: Students and parents should begin to prepare for attending college at the start of their high school career. Students can pick a few areas of study that they’d be interested in pursuing. Finally, students should begin to develop two college lists: one with schools they’re interested in, and two, schools that provide some form of financial aid to international students.