Danielle Thompson

Danielle Thompson graduates with a master’s degree in religious studies.

Danielle Thompson’s bright, energetic personality began to shine through as soon as she took a seat, excited to share her future plans after graduating as a Missouri State Bear.

Thompson is in her second year of the religious studies master’s program and will be graduating this May.

After graduation, Thompson will begin work as a college adviser for the Missouri College Advising Corps, also known as MCAC. The two-year program is based out of the University of Missouri in Columbia. MCAC hires recent college graduates to work in 48 partnering high schools across Missouri, according to University of Missouri.

MCAC college advisers work alongside high school guidance counselors to help students discover what will benefit them best after high school. This may be attending a traditional college or trade school, entering the workforce or joining the military.

“It really just helps those students find what they’re passionate about and what could be a good option for them,” Thompson said.

Thompson said she heard about MCAC through a friend and was contacted by the program during the application period, as they were in search of recent graduates to make college advisers. She applied, interviewed over spring break and was informed she received the position in April.

Over the next two years, Thompson will work as a college adviser at St. James High School. During the second week of May she will be given a tour of the high school, along with meeting counseling staff and students for the first time.

She expressed excitement about working at St. James High School. St. James is a small, rural town, similar to her hometown, Vienna, Missouri.

“It’s rural kids,” Thompson said. “It’s people I’m used to. It’s that kind of atmosphere that I’m really used to that I work really well in.”

Currently, Thompson works as a graduate teaching assistant for First-Year Programs, which she has done for two years. Previously, she worked as a peer leader with first year students.

“I’m getting to do what I do now, but from the other side of it,” Thompson said, describing her future work as a MCAC college adviser.

Thompson said her interest in advising students sparked when she began work as a peer leader on campus, helping students get the full college experience.

“Whenever I was working as a peer leader in undergrad, I really just developed a passion for working with students, and that’s something that moving forward as a GA, I wasn’t sure if this is what I wanted to do,” Thompson said. “I started teaching, and I started advising students unofficially and I was like, ‘I love this so much.’”

Thompson’s ultimate career goal is to work with students, helping them either prepare for college or get adjusted to the college lifestyle.

“So, (my) long-term goal would be working as a college advisor, working in first-year programs somewhere,” Thompson said. “I want to serve people, whether it’s in a college setting or in a high school setting … because I just have such a passion for it.”