Admissions Counselor, Goucher College (MD)
Where did you attend college?
Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, Maryland
How long have you been in your current position at Goucher?
I have been at Goucher for almost 2 years.
How did you get started in college admissions?
I got my start in admissions after working as a tour guide in the admissions office at the Mount. After really enjoying giving tours and meeting prospective students and their families, I decided I wanted to take on more of a leadership role and applied to be a Mount Ambassador Coordinator. In this role, along with 3 other students, I led the tour guide program and took on a semi-professional role in the office. We were given the responsibility of running the Sunday Visit program. It was a completely student-led program; we coordinated the logistics of the day, the registration process, gave a full one-hour presentation and then coordinated student-led campus tours. During the day of the program, this event repeats itself so we actually did double of everything, one session at 1pm and the next at 2:30pm. As graduation approached, I was hooked! I knew I wanted to go into college admissions. I even pursued an honor’s thesis on the evolving marketing techniques of college admissions, with a special emphasis on social media and the widely “popular” quick response codes. (Whatever happened to those?) After graduation, I sought positions at schools similar to my experience at the Mount and ultimately found Goucher College, where I have been ever since.
What's your next step in admissions? Where do you see yourself going?
The future can be a scary thing, but there will be one constant for me going into it, and that is admissions. I ultimately see myself moving up the ladder so to speak to become an assistant director and maybe one day a director. I could also see myself moving out of the role of admissions counselor and moving more to an admissions communications/marketing role. I would one day love to return to my alma mater and work in admissions at the Mount.
What's your favorite admissions memory?
That’s a really tough question; there have been many memorable moments. I can narrow it down to two. My first is presenting at the Fall 2011 Maryland College Student Personnel Association (MCPA) conference with my mentor, Eddie Wright. It was my first time presenting at a conference and the topic, “Creating the Next Generation of Admissions Professionals”, was a cool way to reflect on the program that brought me to the admissions profession. My second would be creating and producing my first video chat. I came up with the idea in shower, developed it on my commute to work, pitched it to my VP, got it approved and then went about finalizing the details all in the same day. Billed as #GoucherAMA, a Reddit style video chat, it was my first attempt at bringing video into the fold as a marketing component for our office, something I had been trying to do since my arrival to Goucher.
If not working in admissions, what else could you see yourself pursuing?
That’s another tough question. I really don’t know that I could see myself doing anything else. Working in admissions really doesn’t feel like work, it is just another part of who I am. I guess if I really had to have another job, it would be working in some capacity for the Baltimore Orioles. I have been a diehard fan since birth and plan on becoming an usher at the stadium once I retire.
What's one thing that most people don't know about you?
I would say the one thing that most people don't know about me is that I am a HUGE fan of karaoke. It just takes the right amount of liquid courage to get me on stage. :)
What's a current trend or future issue you're passionate about right now? And why?
An issue that I am really passionate about right now is gapping in financial aid packages. As college prices have continued to climb, more and more merit aid is being dished out to attract students with higher academic qualifications. I worry that students who may be great fits for certain colleges are having their choices limited by financial constraint. In an ideal world, I would love to see the discontinuation of “merit” scholarships for a system that awards aid based solely on need.
*** To Celebrate Potomac Chesapeake's 50th Conference Anniversary, we're highlighting some of our current members. Each week until the conference at The Homestead in Spring 2015, a new member will be posted. Interested in participating? Email Aundra Weissert at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.***