by: Karin Ente
This past week I, along with a number of the admissions staff, attended the 74th annual National Association for College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) Conference in Salt Lake City, UT.
How many of your friends say “I want to be a College Admissions Counselor when I grow up”? Chances are not many, but that’s OK!
The truth is that working in higher education is actually pretty awesome. We are able to watch so many students grow across a number of years. We celebrate their victories and share the sadness in any set-backs. We act as advocates, mentors, and of course, counselors. Our role/career allows us to wear many hats and work in multiple environments. College Admissions is a field that some may find themselves “falling into,” then they find themselves “falling in love with” (and then stay in for life). Higher education provides a close-knit collaborative community rather than a competitive cooperate community. Nothing exemplifies this better than our annual conference.
- Learning –Hearing from many different voices and viewpoints within the field. This includes other colleges/universities, as well as high schools, independent counselors, and community-based organizations.
- Networking –College admissions is a small field and we get the opportunity to connect with old colleagues and friends as well as meet new ones!
- Innovation –New ideas emerge when we all get together and let our creative juices flow.
- Rejuvenation –The college application cycle is year-round and continuous. This conference allows us to take a short pause, check in with others, and ask questions, brainstorm, and go home with a refreshed/new sense of purpose.
Some of my favorite sessions included: “Working with the Media,” “Leading from the Middle,” “Women in College Admission: The Impact and Power of Female Mentorship,” “Counselors’ College Fair,” “What Admissions Deans Think,” and “Talkin’ Bout My Generation: The Millennial Perspective in the Workplace.”