Philaine Seher

Job title: 
L&S Assistant Director

Title: Assistant Director, L&S Office of Undergraduate Advising

About Philaine

Joined the L&S Office of Undergraduate Advising in:
October 2011

What is your approach to advising?
I seek to provide students with the information and tools necessary to make decisions, thereby empowering them to pursue their dreams.

MS Counseling, San Francisco State University, 2011
BA English, UC Berkeley, 2007

How did you get here?
My path to L&S Advising has been one of finding my niche within education. I tried teaching preschool, elementary, and middle school; I volunteered with high school students, taught a DeCal at Berkeley, coordinated after school tutoring programs in elementary and high schools, and taught college students at a private program. I realized I most enjoyed interacting with college students, helping them discover and explore their passions and determine how to achieve their goals. After considering multiple career options, I came to understand that what I like to do is actually a career field called college counseling, so I enrolled in a graduate college counseling program. I have interned at San Francisco State University's Undergraduate Advising Center, City College of San Francisco's Career Development Counseling Department and Disabled Students Programs and Services Department. Now I'm happy to be back at UC Berkeley.

What's your favorite part of your job?
Helping students figure out how to help themselves achieve their goals.

What's the best class you've ever taken?
As an undergrad, my senior honors seminar allowed me the chance to explore and develop my interests in a small group setting. In grad school, the best class was Organization and Administration in Higher Education; the professor's motto was "No one ever rose to low expectations," and he certainly challenged me to surpass what I thought I could do.

Most unusual job you ever had?
Hmmm...haven't really had any unusual jobs. I did volunteer work for two years that left me so sleep deprived that I, on multiple occasions, fell asleep standing up while giving presentations. That's a bit unusual.

About me:
Sometimes I analyze poetry for fun. I like being outside, hiking, reading, and home design blogs.

What advice do you have for L&S students in general?
Remember that in pursuing a liberal arts education you have many opportunities to develop the transferable skills employers seek. Explore your passions, try new things. Don't forget to engage in extracurriculars to get the full college life experience.

Note: trained in Undocu-Ally about current policies, laws, historical context, challenges for undocumented students.