IR Student Spotlight impressario Brooke Beyer is casting a wider net to spotlight IR faculty and staff. For starters, she thought it might be fun to drop in for a quick 'Health Check' on IR's new Student Services Officer Stephen Busse, who spoke with exclamation points about his role, his expectations, and his advice for students interested in getting involved in IR. Stephen 'Cleared' with flying Color.

What is your role within the IR Program? 

Honestly, a little bit of everything! In this role, there are many hats you have to put on. For instance, one of my main responsibilities is to review course plans, meet with students, and make sure they are on track to graduate. However, I also help with the processing and approving of petitions as well as major and minor declarations. I also work with the faculty, helping secure classrooms and planning the courses that will be offered each quarter. Then there are so many other responsibilities like event planning, going through department expenditures, supervising the peer advisors, attending cross-campus meetings, etc. There really is so much!

What is your favorite part of this job? 

My favorite part of the job easily is getting to meet with students. I love getting to talk to and learn more about them, who they are, their interests, and what their goals are that they want to achieve in the future. What's been great is seeing the passion our students have for this area and field. We have such awesome and inspiring students and I genuinely can't wait to see the amazing things they do in the future.

What are you most looking forward to at Stanford this year? 

I think I'm most excited about being on a campus, seeing people, and having events be in person again. I was working as an academic advising intern at Cal Poly's College of Science and Mathematics when COVID hit and we all had to start working remotely (or in my case, my on-campus apartment) for the spring quarter. What I ended up missing most was just being able to be in the office, conversing with the other advisors, staff, student workers, and students. I love talking to people, so having that all come back, this time in a new environment, is really exciting for me.

Besides that, I think I'm just most looking forward to learning more about Stanford and getting acclimated to the campus. I’m only about two months into the role and I am still trying to find my way around. Luckily, everyone here has been super helpful and supportive which has been greatly appreciated!

What advice do you have for students interested in getting involved in the IR Program?

I think the best way to get involved is attending events we put on and just spending time in the IR Office Lounge with other fellow IR students. We have an incredible lounge/study space and my vision would be for it to be a place where IR students can meet up, get work done, study together, or just hang out. When we had our ice cream social back in October, I was so happy to see how many students, not just attend, but stay for the duration of the event and socialize with their peers and faculty. I think many of us had missed that in-person interaction this past year and I would love to see that continue to grow. I would also say stay current with the IR Newsletter and occasional email blasts we send out, as there are oftentimes interesting opportunities for our students in there. And last, but definitely not least, I would say get in touch with the peer advisors. They are all so wonderful and knowledgeable about the program and they can definitely help you get better connected or involved with the major!