So you want to be an Admissions Counselor…

Several people have been asking me about my experience working as a University Admissions Representative and so I thought, I would gather a list of what to expect. Hopefully it helps!

During college I worked in my university’s admissions office as a campus tour guide. Being the indecisive millennial that I was, I had NO IDEA what my next steps would be after graduation. So I decided to try a professional career in the admissions world. However, I wanted to seek a challenge and try to land my first gig outside of my university so I could really grow and hone my skills that my university gave to me during undergrad. Little did I know that I was one of the few graduates with that mindset…my competition was either experienced Admissions Counselor’s or recent graduates of the university I was applying for. It can be a tad overwhelming walking into an interview not having any experiences with the school. However, in the job hunt, you must always remain confident no matter what the situation. So I had to dig deep and find out how I could set myself apart.

As I prepared for my interviews, I spoke with many professionals in the field, and then I came up with a list of duties that admissions recruiters complete on a daily basis, and asked myself if this was something I really wanted to do? And if it was, how was I going to do it?

Personality is EVERYTHING.

This can set a good recruiter apart from a bad one. If someone can hold a conversation with you, great! If a high school student can hold a conversation with you… EVEN BETTER! As an Admissions Counselor you will be asked to present and speak with students 24/7, and this is so important to do this well. If you can deliver a phenomenal classroom presentation or craft a unique “elevator pitch” about the university you will go far in recruiting. Also keeping in mind that one bad move, can really hurt you (no pressure). Students or parents who have a negative experience with you will more than likely carry that poor experience with them to a campus visit and a negative mind is not always an open one, which results in “Decision Day” not working in your favor-and this my friends, is a HUGE bummer.

AUGUST 1.

In Texas, this is when the college applications go LIVE. 98% of the BEST students will apply within minutes in hopes that their applications are the first seen. It can be a stressful 24 hours, but it will all be over soon. Just smile and be nice to the countless calls from the excited mothers.

QUESTIONS on QUESTIONS on QUESTIONS.

Email or in person. Be prepared to answer the SAME. EXACT. QUESTION. All of the time. Yes, it seems that this young tech-savvy generation will not always check the website or even google the answers to their questions. Don’t get me wrong, some will (hold on to those angels), but typically you do not hear from the students that do their research very often. Most students will ask you just about every question in the book…and then some. Which is OK! Sometimes it can get a bit frustrating, but you must make the most of it. Be patient. One trick I learned was that if it was a question that was on the website, I would answer the question and provide the link to the website or reference the admission brochure. This will eventually get their mind (hopefully) going that the answers are directly in front of them.

TRAVEL SEASON.

Pretty self-explanatory. This is a period of time in the year where you are running on fumes both personally, and maybe literally in your car. It’s no secret that you will be in the car for countless hours in the week. You will join a team of colleagues from other schools and call each other: road warriors, travel buddies, admissions fam, etc. You may only travel locally, or nationally. Nonetheless, you will meet so many college representatives from other schools and create a closer bond to them than most of your actual colleagues. This was probably one of my favorite parts of the whole admissions world.

Decision Day.

The day that you waited for all year. The day where you can relax, and just know that your hard work paid off (hopefully). This is the day your students commit to your school. This is when you look back on the chaos and realize that you helped students make the next step towards their future. **UGLY CRY**They grow up so fast! This is the day you get a MARGARITA, or two. Celebrate!

Being in admissions definitely launched my career. It taught me many great soft skills that I will carry through my entire professional life. There is so much more to being an Admissions Counselor, but this should explain the basics. So if you’re looking into a career in Admissions, take a look at some of my daily tasks and ask yourself if this is something you want to do? If it is, go get it!

Good Luck!
❤ Justin

Below are pics of me and some of my road warriors…

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