As a communications major at John Carroll University in Ohio, Olderman did not know she wanted to be a counselor. After graduation from John Carroll in 2011, Olderman took a job as an admissions counselor at her alma mater.
“I worked as a tour guide in undergrad,” said Olderman on why she took the admissions counselor job. “I knew the people, I knew the job. I loved the job.”
After working at John Carroll for a few years and getting her masters degree in Counseling from Lindenwood University, Olderman took a school counselor job at St. John Vianney high school, where she worked for two years. In this role she helped students from freshman to senior year, as a school and college counselor. She decided she needed a switch in 2017, when she realized she wanted a bit more of a challenge.
“There’s 400 more kids (at SLUH),” said Olderman.
Olderman originally applied to work at SLUH as a school counselor, but all spots were filled. Still, SLUH decided they couldn’t let her slip away, and with the help of Jim Linhares, Olderman began working for the school at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, filling a dual role as both learning coach and college counselor.
As a learning coach, Olderman will be helping students of all GPA ranges better hone some of their skills. Helping to cultivate more productive work ethic and more efficient time management skills are just a few things she has helped students with. With only a few more semesters before she earns her doctorate in teacher leadership from Maryville University, she will soon be able to help even more.
“She has been a huge asset with an earnest enthusiasm and wise awareness of how to work with a school culture like SLUH based on her past valuable experiences in other schools,” said Learning Center director Tim Curdt. “She is off to a wonderful start and we couldn’t be happier with her work.”
As a college counselor, Olderman will assist the juniors as they begin the stressful and Herculean task of searching for colleges.
“We’re excited to have her on the team,” said Director of College Counseling Kevin Crimmins.
He plans to use this time to train Olderman for her work with the juniors by having her sit in on some senior meetings to help understand SLUH’s approach to the college process.
Around the school, Olderman has begun to become acquainted with her colleagues and with the student body. As a co-moderator of the yearbook, she’s started to form relationships and friendships within the SLUH community.
“Tay Wiley gave me a fridge,” Olderman recalled. “I came back one day and there was a fridge in front of my door.”
After deeming her office “uncool,” junior Tay Wiley felt obliged to spice it up a little by donating his fridge from the former Gadfly room.
As part of her doctorate thesis, Olderman has plans to incorporate a new college search program starting freshman year. It would involve once a month meetings, which would cover different aspects of the college search process. She believes starting the search process early will alleviate student stress. Her research will begin with the current freshman class.
“I have heard it’s a bit of a challenge, but I’m willing to take that on,” Olderman said about her approach for this year’s Dauphin. She has already begun contact with interested students, and set up monthly deadlines so students won’t have to work too far into the summer.
“We are very blessed to have Ms. Olderman at SLUH!” said Curdt.