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Meet the Advising Team

Our advising team is dedicated to your academic, professional, and personal success through a collaborative advising process that will assist you in achieving your goals.

The advising team works side by side with our Jenkins MBA students as you journey from admittance to graduation. Learn about our approach to advising:


Julie Fleming

Director of Advising and Student Affairs

Student success is Julie Brunson Fleming’s career passion and purpose. She is the leader of the Advising and Student Affairs team, which delivers high-touch advising and student engagement programming to Jenkins graduate students from matriculation through graduation. 

Julie has extensive experience in advising, program development, and student affairs leadership. She finds great reward in watching students learn and grow and celebrating with them as they graduate. She truly enjoys the dynamic and collaborative culture of Poole College, where she has served since 2018.

Julie holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan. Her free time is devoted to family, friends, travel, reading, cooking and staying active. She is a longtime Raleigh resident and loves living in North Carolina.

Deborah Wilkins

Assistant Director of Advising and Student Affairs

Deborah has 20 years of student service experience in various roles at NC State University. She has served the last 13 years with the Jenkins MBA program, where she’s putting her extensive knowledge of university processes, procedures and policies to work while serving its working professional students. Deborah is supportive and passionate about student success and helping to improve the overall student experience. She serves as lead administrator for the Jenkins Graduate Delegates.

Deborah received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Saint Augustine’s University. She enjoys watching movies, listening to inspirational music and traveling with her husband 

Vanessa Bak

Assistant Director of Advising and Student Affairs

Vanessa Bak started as an academic advisor at NC State in September of 2020, first  working with students in the College of Sciences before she joined the Jenkins MBA team in November 2023. Vanessa is committed to holistic student development and focused on how to help students self-author their college education and experience. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, she received her B.A. in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences from the University of Connecticut and then her M.Ed in College Student Personnel from Ohio University. During her graduate studies she focused her seminar paper on time perception and how to reframe time management for the modern college student. She then turned this into a publication for About Campus.

Fun Facts: Growing up 45 minutes outside of New York City, Vanessa had great exposure to Broadway and has seen over 50 shows (some of them more than once!). She is an avid reader and podcast listener, so if you are in need of suggestions she is your woman.

Alissa Dodds

Assistant Director of Advising & Student Affairs

Alissa Dodds was born and raised in Chico, CA where her lifelong love of learning and exploration began. She attended Marshall University where she earned BBA degrees in both marketing and economics as well as an MBA. Alissa has spent the majority of her two-decade-long career supporting business students as they achieve their goals. Alissa moved to North Carolina in the summer of 2017 and is thrilled to be working at the Poole College of Management.

Full-Time MBA Advising

Vanessa Bak is the academic advisor for students in the Full-Time MBA program. She helps students navigate program requirements such as:

Your advisor will help you enroll in your required courses, which will provide you with the foundation of an MBA, as well as help you explore your interests and career goals through choosing a concentration and elective courses. In total, the Full-Time MBA program requires students to complete 54 credit hours of coursework.

Your advisor will help you plan your courses so they are sequenced logically and manageably, ensuring you are poised for success. Generally, full-time students will follow a specific course sequence.

Students are required to complete 12 hours of study in one of six concentration areas, including a required practicum course, where you will work on a project for a real company. Your advisor will help you select the concentration that is most likely to match your career interests and differentiate you in your field, as well as help you determine which practicum course best suits your goals.

Online MBA Advising

Alissa Dodds and Deborah Wilkins are the academic advisors for students in the Professional Online MBA program. They help students navigate program requirements such as:

All online students are required to complete at least one practicum course for graduation. These hands-on courses are designed to provide experiential learning opportunities by working on projects for real companies. For a list of practicum courses, you can access the course descriptions below – practicum courses are notated with a *P.

Students are also required to complete electives. The number of hours depends on the credit hours of your practicum course. The MBA program provides many 3-hour and 1-hour electives to fulfill your elective requirements. Your advisor will help you select the electives that best serve your interests and plan of work.

Online students can complete the program in a flexible or accelerated format. Your advisor can help you choose the best option based on your academic, professional and personal needs.