Sunday, January 22, 2017

Day In the Life: College Admissions

Hi everyone! It has been a crazy week ... let me tell you! With work being busier than ever and lots of personal things going on, I am so happy it is Sunday! I hope you all had a great week of strategic goal setting and getting more in-tuned with your resolutions. Remember, they only become a habit if you let them, but let's move on to today's blog post!

Ever since I started my job as an Assistant Director of Admissions, I have wanted to do a day in the life post about what my day looks like as an Admissions Counselor. Every day is different and this past week wasn't typical by any means. We had a switch up in how we were working on students' applications and it was really an all-hands-on-deck type of week before I visited some high schools on Thursday and Friday. Nonetheless, I wanted to share with you all what a typical day in my college admissions office looks like! If you're interested ... keep reading!

Me in my office at the start of a great morning!

8:30am - Arrive and E-mails: My day technically isn't supposed to start until 9:00am, but I like to get into my office 30 to 45 minutes early so that I can get a jump start with planning my day and reading e-mails. In a day I probably send out 100 e-mails and usually when I get in in the morning I have some responses from colleagues, my student workers, and the students with whom I'm working. It can be kind of daunting (especially Monday mornings), so I like to start a little bit earlier to set myself up for a successful day. I'll also use this time to look over my schedule and make a to-do list based on all of the meetings and things I want to accomplish so that I know what's important and what I need to get done!

9:30am - Review Applications: We review applications every day so that there is a shorter wait time for our students to learn their decisions. Because of this, I like to review right away in the morning so that if I need to contact a school counselor about a student or request current grades, there is plenty of time to do that. This usually takes up the majority of my morning because I read through EVERYTHING that is in a student's file. I like to read each letter of recommendation, essay, and any other supplemental pieces a student provides, so it takes quite a bit of time to read each file. It's great though because I'm really able to learn a lot about my students!

11:30 - Interview: Lately a lot of my students have been visiting for the 10:00 tour, so after their tour I will interview them and answer any questions that they or their family have. I really enjoy meeting with students when they visit because it helps me learn even more about that, but also it helps them get to know me and understand my work style.

12:00pm - Lunch: Typically I will stay in the office during my lunch or I will go visit my grandma for a little bit. This is just my time to catch up with my colleagues, but also de-stress and check out social media. I am on twitter and then I also have a personal Instagram that you can follow me on. All the info is above in my Contact Me page. If I'm really busy or wasn't able to read all of my applications then I will work while I eat too.

12:30pm - More E-mails: I will use the time after lunch to follow up on my e-mails and voicemails from the morning so that I can call back any schools or plan on following up with the appropriate people while they are still working.

1:00pm - Office Tasks: So, I will use about an hour and a half working on other tasks and responsibilities within the office. So, not only do I work with students and review their applications, but I am also in charge of our Ambassador program (the tour guides) and I am also on the Events Committee. So, I may have to work on scheduling, on hiring or just troubleshooting any issues or concerns that come up throughout the week and day that need to be dealt with. Besides working with the students and their families, helping to plan out events is something that I really enjoy about my job!

2:30pm - Phone Calls: From about 2:30pm until I leave at about 5:30pm, I am doing phone calls and e-mailing students directly about their applications, events coming up, or exciting news. I like to call students when I have an update about the status of their application because I think it helps reduce anxiety about the college search process. I know when I went through the process, the waiting and not-knowing where I was in the stage was the hardest part, so I don't want any of my students to feel that way!

5:30pm - Check-In/Review: At the end of my day, I really like to check and see what all I got accomplished and what all I need to focus on for the next day. Knowing the night before what I will be walking into tomorrow helps me better prepare. For example, if I know it's not going to be too busy then I might go in at 9:00am, instead of 8:30am. This is my personal plan and it has really worked well for me and staying on track throughout the day.

So there you have it folks ... a day in my life as a college admissions counselor! All days are different and I never know what is truly waiting for me until the day unfolds, but ultimately I love what I do and I really enjoy working with the students, families, and schools that I do, which makes it all worth it!!

enjoy the chase,
skylar




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