Speaking Success: Shannon Grundmeier


Shannon Grundmeier is an academic adviser and a business learning team program coordinator originally from New Sharon, Iowa.

Logan Metzger

Editor’s Note: This is part eight in the Iowa State Daily’s “Speaking Success” series.

This week’s Academic Success Center tips

It is the halfway mark in the semester. With classes picking up and midterms creeping up on us, it can be a stressful time. As a student, it is really important to remember that our mental well-being is so important. So, if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed or stressed, make sure to take care of yourself. What is your stress relief? Going to the gym, taking a bath or making a warm cup of coffee? Whatever it is, make sure you fit it into your schedule this week.

As a student, academic well-being, such as your class balance, schedule, time management, etc., is really important, but academic well-being is only part of being a student. The actual physical well-being is just as important. Not taking care of yourself can be mentally exhausting, and you will begin to experience mental fatigue. So make yourself a priority!

The Student Wellness Center is another amazing resource Iowa State has to offer students. I would highly recommend checking out their website at studentwellness.iastate.edu.

The adviser

This week’s adviser is Shannon Grundmeier, she/her/hers, who is an academic adviser and a business learning team program coordinator. She is originally from New Sharon, Iowa.

How would you introduce yourself?

I often say I went to college and never left. I began my journey in higher education as an open option major at Iowa State. I knew I loved interacting with others and helping them connect the dots, but I didn’t have a clear vision about how to use these interests in a career. After completing undergraduate degrees in management and psychology, I pursued a master’s in education in educational leadership and policy studies and have been supporting student success ever since.

How many years have you worked at Iowa State University?

I began my first job at Iowa State as a work-study student in the Office of Student Financial Aid way back in 2004. I have been employed in a full-time capacity at Iowa State since 2008, first as a financial aid advieor, then as an academic advisor to engineering and business students.

Why did you choose Iowa State University?   

As a student, I chose Iowa State because it offered me a place to call home even as an “undeclared” student who wasn’t sure where I was heading. Professionally, I have grown to love the Ames community and appreciate the opportunity to give back to the university.

How would you explain your job to someone who doesn’t know what it is?

I support students navigate to and through their higher education experience. I get the opportunity to experience their personal highs and lows and coach them through the process of defining their future.

What is something you never thought you would do in your job?

I can honestly say I didn’t expect that I would be looking up to my students as role models of success, yet here I am, doing exactly that!

What is something you want people to know about your job?

The field of academic advising is often thought of as simply telling students which classes they need to graduate. In my experience, this role is much more collaborative than that. It’s about building relationships with students to help them explore their interests and develop as leaders in order to prepare them to achieve their personal and professional goals.

What is something you want your advisees to know about your job?

Academic advisers are literally hired to be a support network for students. You will not find this sort of intentionally integrated support system once you graduate, so it’s important for you to utilize it now while you have the chance. Reach out to your academic adviser, especially during your hardest days or after your biggest setbacks. We want to see you succeed but can only do so when you take the opportunity to share your experiences with us.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love watching students achieve those “Aha!” moments. As a learning community coordinator, I witness these opportunities of growth most often within my amazing group of peer mentors. Sitting in a room filled with leaders who are passionate about bringing out the best in others is a powerful experience and is definitely the most fulfilling part of my role.

What advice do you have for students?

Oftentimes, students come to college feeling like they have to have it all figured out right away. In a society that generally values profits over people, it’s easy to get sucked into the importance of graduating as quickly as possible in order to start earning a paycheck. That said, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of slowing down long enough to really explore who you are as a person and who you want to become. Declared majors and job titles are not the only things that define you, so be intentional about growth opportunities, getting out of your comfort zone and understanding your “why.”

What hobbies do you have?

Building connections and opportunities for others. I am involved in disability advocacy and peer-to-peer mentoring to help make our communities more inclusive and equitable for all.

Do you have any pets or a favorite animal?

I am on Team Dog and love my little fur babies.

What is your zodiac sign and what do you think it says about you?

Well, Astrology.com says, “Aquarians are visionaries, progressive souls who love to spend time thinking about how things can be better. They are also quick to engage others in this process, which is why they have so many friends and acquaintances. Making the world a better place is a collaborative effort for Aquarians.” That pretty much sums it up!

First word that comes to mind to describe yourself? Explain?

IMPACT — it is my goal to influence positive change where I can, impart knowledge to those who need it, and inspire inclusive hearts and minds of those around me.