Advising Assistant

University of British Columbia - Vancouver, BC (30+ days ago)

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Job Posting

Job ID:

Vancouver - Point Grey Campus

Employment Group:
CUPE 2950 (Cler/Secr/Library)

Job Category:
CUPE 2950 Student Info Support

Classification Title:
Student Info Support 3b (Gr6)

Business Title:
Advising Assistant

VP Students

International Stdnt Dvlpmt

$43,884.00 (Annual)

Full/Part Time:


Desired Start Date:

Funding Type:
Budget Funded

Closing Date:

Available Openings:

Job Summary

Student Engagement is responsible for providing leadership, opportunities, and services that strengthen and enrich student learning at UBC.

International Student Development supports international and refugee students to thrive at UBC and facilitates international learning opportunities on campus for all students.

As the first point of contact with the unit, the Advising Assistant creates a sense of welcome and provides reception services in person, by phone and email. The Advising Assistant interprets, guides and supports current and prospective students and resolves complex queries from students, faculty, staff, community members and visitors to the unit. The incumbent independently provides high-level program and administrative support across the planning and delivery of multiple International Student Development programs.

Normal reception office environment with complex procedures and heavy walk-in traffic (1,300 in-person plus 1,000 phone and email per month). Volume increases during specific times of the year (September orientation for new students, April and May for graduation and August for pre-arrival preparation).

Some evening and weekend work may be required for special events or during peak periods.

Organizational Status

This position reports to the Student Information and Program Support Coordinator. In some instances staff will take direction from other members of the International Student Development team, with respect to reception duties and specific project work. May supervise student staff. The Advising Assistant is an integral member of the staff team in the Life Building and the Simon K.Y. Lee Global Lounge and Resource Centre (Global Lounge).

Work Performed

As the public face of the unit, the Advising Assistant provides:

Front-line support

Maintains a welcoming, respectful and inclusive environment in the reception area during office hours.
Receives clients' inquiries with empathy, sensitively and knowledgeably assists in problem clarification and solution generation, accurately determines the best resource for their inquiries and refers them to an appropriate resource within or external to the unit.

Responds to complex in-person, telephone and email inquiries from prospective and admitted students, family members, UBC staff and faculty and community members. This requires intermediate knowledge of Canadian immigration information (related to international students/new to Canada and their dependents) as approved by authorized immigration representatives, intermediate knowledge of health insurance (including iMED, AMS/GSS Extended Health and Dental, and BC Medical Services Plan), intermediate knowledge of UBC's programs and policies, Faculties, Enrollment Services, and student services at UBC (e.g., financial aid, awards, academic advising, records and registration, counselling, career, health, disability resources, orientation, leadership and involvement opportunities, housing, athletics, U-Pass, iMED), and knowledge of newcomer settlement issues (e.g., looking for off-campus accommodation, obtaining a BCID, drivers licensing).

Maintains confidentiality of student data according to established policies and protocols.

Provides students with general information regarding immigration (not case-specific) and health insurance processes and applications, based on approved protocols from authorized immigration representatives.

Responds accurately and in a timely manner to all inquiries received in-person, by telephone or online; carefully identifies the nature of the presenting concerns; interprets written policies and communicates them accurately.

Works sensitively with individual circumstances and communicates effectively and empathetically with a highly diverse population. Works effectively with speakers of English as an additional language (EAL) and newcomers to Canada.

Offers front-line support and referrals as needed to students and visitors with complex, high-stakes issues and concerns.

Composes professional correspondence and initiates replies to inquiries of a moderately complex nature requiring an intermediate knowledge of relevant subject matter, UBC guidelines, procedures and regulations and the ability to interpret and apply this information to the work of other University units.
Exercises good judgment in triaging inquiries and in issue escalation. Identifies emergency/critical situations and initiates an urgent response.

Signs up students to see advisors and maintains in-person and online queue(s). Documents student interactions according to approved protocols.

Provides backup to other Advising Assistants as required.

Provides administrative support to International Student Development programmatic teams including data entry, file management, document and data transfers, etc.

Reporting: Processes moderately complex data and drafts effective monthly, semi-annual and annual reporting on various functions of International Student Development including descriptive statistical reporting on advising volume, wait times, the virtual lines and phone records.

Processes all incoming and outgoing mail, email, facsimile messages and courier packages. Redirects media inquiries (in person and phone) appropriately.

Administration and Program Support

Identifies processes and systems that require improvement, maps current and redesigns processes using input from colleagues and other student service units as appropriate, and makes recommendations for changes to improve service.

Maintains office supplies, handouts and equipment, ensuring that they are organized, in good repair, and current.

Schedules appointments for unit staff and books meeting rooms.

Makes arrangements for special events, committees, workshops and large meetings. Books rooms, arranges catering, invites and confirms attendees, distributes meeting material and takes minutes.

Provides logistical and promotional support for the unit's events and programs.

Orders and processes purchases made by the department.

Responds to high-volume departmental email accounts and supports the advising email account by reviewing, referring, and responding to prospective students, alumni, current students, staff and faculty.

Supports ISD's participation in Jump Start, Imagine Day, and other orientations at on-campus locations which may include weekend work and after hours support.

With approval, compiles, drafts and distributes a weekly e-newsletter for international students at UBC including researching, creating, and editing content as needed.

May represent International Student Advising on the Local Safety Committee and take on related roles.

Selects, trains, coaches and supervises up to five student workers on project-specific work and front-line advising related duties. Participates in the selection, hiring, and supervision of staff and student staff.

Processes iMED data including opt outs, advises students with moderately complex iMED questions, communicates with iMED insurance broker and UBC Tuition staff as needed, and supports the iMED advisor with administrative tasks related to the program.

Provides select administrative support for the Global Lounge and the Global Fund, such as communicating with fund winners, reconciling expenses and reviewing reports for Global Fund projects.

Drafts and updates manuals and procedures for staff and student staff.

Performs other duties as required.

Supervision Received

The Advising Assistant works independently with minimal supervision. The incumbent will receive specific instructions on new projects. Consults with supervisor on matters that depart radically from established policy or procedures. Expected to actively prioritize a variety of tasks and utilize judgement to identify solutions to complex problems.

Supervision Given

The Advising Assistant may provide supervision and support to up to five student staff throughout the year, including training and coaching on procedures, policies, and professional skills development.

Consequence of Error/Judgement

Incumbent will be required to deal with unique situations requiring sound judgement, knowledge of and sensitivity to intercultural and international issues. Decisions require thorough knowledge of guidelines, procedures and regulations and the ability to interpret and apply them to the work unit. All information must be accurate and provided in a respectful, timely and supportive way. Failure to provide service that meets these standards may create hardships for students seeking to complete their UBC program and could impact a students' ability to remain in Canada legally, work legally or access health care, and could also pose a financial and reputational risk to the University by negatively impacting the recruitment, yield and retention of international students and the reputation of the University internationally.


High School graduation and 1 year post-secondary education. University graduation preferred. 3 years relevant experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Alternatively, 2 years of relevant UBC experience.
Experience living outside of home country and/or conversational ability in an additional language an asset.
Experience supporting international students in a public post-secondary setting an asset.
Training in front-line customer service an asset.
Training in active listening and supporting people in distress an asset.
Training in intercultural communication an asset.
Knowledge of policies and procedures of UBC and central agencies (e.g., Human Resources, Finance) an asset. Considerable interpersonal and intercultural skills; ability to communicate effectively and appropriately with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Ability to exercise tact and discretion when handling sensitive and/or confidential matters. Ability to communicate in clear, concise business English orally and in writing. Ability to use word processing, spreadsheet, database, Internet and electronic mail applications at an intermediate level. Ability to prioritize work and to meet deadlines. Ability to maintain accuracy and attention to detail. Ability to work independently and as a member of a team.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.