Wednesday, January 14, 2015

50 for 50: Ryan Motevalli-Oliner

Ryan Motevalli-Oliner
Admissions Counselor
Washington College (MD)

How long have you been in your current position at Washington College? How long have you been in admissions/college counseling?

I have been an admissions counselor at Washington College for my entire career thus far in admissions, 1.5 years.

How did you get started in college counseling/admissions?

I simply fell into the world of admissions. As a senior at Kenyon College, I interviewed perspective students and really enjoyed it. After graduating, I did not give much though into working in admissions. A year went by and I realized I was passionate about helping students find the right college fit. So naturally, work in admissions was the best fit. I talked with my college counselor (and now mentor) Carl Ahlgren and he counseled me on what my next steps should be. Long story short, Washington College gave me my opportunity to help students. 

What's your favorite admissions/counseling memory?

I don't think I have one solid memory. But, all the Open Houses we have done on campus have been so much fun. Watching the prospective students or admitted students navigate campus, music playing, and interacting with excited families, makes me remember how much fun I get to have working in admissions.

What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue membership in PCACAC and/or NACAC?

Get out of your comfort zone and interact with everyone and anyone. The more connections you can make, the easier it will be. 

If not working in admissions/college counseling, what else could you see yourself pursuing? 

Coaching. Before I started in admissions I taught 7th grade social studies and coached the school's volleyball team. I loved every minute of coaching. 

What's one thing that most people don't know about you?

I am lover of everything Disney. From music to movies, I can't get enough of Disney animation (this includes Pixar films).

What's a current trend or future issue you're passionate about right now? And why?

College access and proper college counseling. Working with students who are not receiving proper counseling or have access to attend schools due to financially situations, I realize how lucky I am to have had the opportunities that I did have and makes me wonder why everyone can't have the same opportunities. 

*** 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 to get started.***

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