Foundations of Practice: Personal



The ability to engage in regular analysis and assessment of one's advising practice. The ability to employ self-care practices in order to sustain self in people-centered work.

A strong personal foundation includes an understanding of how to:

  • Self-manage and engage in ethical practice.

  • Regularly reflect on one's practice and develop an awareness of strengths and biases.

  • Incorporate self-care strategies into the work.

  • Experiment with various approaches and methods to improve and individualize for each student.

  • Articulate a personal advising philosophy.

  • Seek and accept constructive feedback on practice from others (especially students) and use this to improve performance and inform on-going development.

The Foundation, Applied

  • The ability to develop a philosophy of advising and regularly reflect on one’s practice (UW-Madison, 2013). Torey Bookstein’s advising philosophy is posted and directed to students as their audience, promoting and demystifying their orientation to advising students. This act, along with the framing of the advising philosophy invites students into an explicit partnership rooted in the students’ knowledge of self, Torey’s knowledge of Berkeley, and a shared goal of student success at Cal.
  • The ability to incorporate self-care strategies into one’s practice to ensure optimal performance and to seek help when needed. This vow sits in the signatures of advisors and student services staff across Berkeley emphasizing that wellness is not something to do if there is time, but integral to the transformational work we intend to do in collaboration with each other:
    "Aware of suffering and injustice, I am working to create a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world and a more equitable, compassionate, and welcoming environment for students. I promise, for the benefit of all, to practice self-care, mindfulness, healing, and joy. I vow to not burn out." (adapted for UC Berkeley student services staff with permission from Mushim Ikeda). 

Suggested Learning Activity

Consider engaging with the following suggested learning activities to integrate your understanding of this Foundation of Practice into your own work:

Activity A

If you are a supervisor, consider watching this workshop as a team. Schedule an hour to watch the Advancing Practice Workshop with Dr. Sahar Yousef, The Science of Burnout Prevention: How to Manage Stress and Maintain Mental Wellbeing

  • Are you experiencing burnout? If you are a manager, do you also recognize symptoms of burnout in your team?

  • What are two things you can do to complete the stress cycle?

  • Practice setting your MITs (Most Important Tasks) one day at a time. If your supervisor or team are willing, invite them to co-construct MITs for a shared understanding of expectations.

    • Were these tasks possible within the allotted timeframe? What modifications are within your control? What are opportunities to invite your team/supervisor into for recalibrating priorities?

Activity B

If you haven’t already, create a Statement of Advising Philosophy for your advising practice using some theory that you find relevant to you. Read through the workbook to help guide you through this process. 

If you have an existing Advising Philosophy, revisit it and reflect on your practice over the past year. Are there any modifications you can make to more accurately reflect your praxis?

For further exploration of this Foundation of Practice, check out the following Advancing Practice workshop recordings from past semesters:

Writing Your Statement of Advising Philosophy, May 2021
Creating Your Statement of Advising Philosophy (Part Two of Two), November 17, 2021
The Science of Burnout Prevention with Dr.Sahar Yousef, August 5th, 2021
Wellness in Action, Support of those who support students, March 3rd, 3:30-4:30 pm

“An excellent student advisor is one who had the ability to assist aHeadshot of smiling person with long dark hair. student in clarifying and attaining his academic and personal goals while coaching him/her through the adventures of life. Since I aspire to be such an advisor, one of my professional goals is to attend as many educational advising workshops as possible to broaden my style and expand my experience.”

Dresden John, Student Experience Program Manager, Undergraduate Programs, Haas School of Business