Making the Connection

A number of years ago, I was very unsure about taking the next step to college. The director of my high school choir at the time was a Wartburg College graduate. He shared his incredible experience and encouraged me to visit. As an uncertain 17-year-old, I called to set up my visit and will never forget the kindness I received on the other end from the visit coordinator. I felt more confident about taking the next step. After my visit, I knew Wartburg was where I would go to college. I applied for a job in admissions during my junior year at Wartburg and developed many relationships that became influential in my career path. I had no idea how much that decision would impact my life. I served as a spiritcaller, Ambassador and eventually spent an entire summer working full-time in the admissions office. Still, when it came time for graduation, I wasn’t sure about the path I wanted to take. As I began looking for a job, it was a connection I had made at Wartburg that led me to Simpson College and a job as an admissions counselor. The people and the experience there solidified my love for higher education. When I had the chance to return to Wartburg Admissions, I knew recruiting for my alma mater was the right decision. Almost twenty years later, I find myself wondering where the years have gone!

You may be wondering why I am sharing my career path with you. In a career that can have a high burnout rate, I want to remind you of the impact you can have on students in your life every step of the way. I can name a long list of people who influenced me in this profession, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I’m sure you can make your own list of the people who have impacted you, but I bet you can also think of the many students you’ve guided along the way as well. Your work is so important, and you will likely never know the impact you have made on so many students!

A huge perk of this business is the benefits of being a member of Iowa ACAC. (No, I’m not talking about getting to attend college fairs or be on the Listserv!) It’s the people and connections you make along the way who you remember most. I have rarely missed a spring conference because of the networking and opportunities to learn from one another. Once I became active on the executive board, those connections became even stronger, and I learned more about the profession than ever. I grew as a counselor, and it gave me more knowledge about higher education to assist our campus in making decisions. And did I mention the people?! I have loved making connections with college personnel, school counselors, and vendors, who genuinely make being in this profession all worthwhile.

Woman and men smiling

If you were waiting until someone asked you to get involved in Iowa ACAC, please accept this invitation! If you have any questions about the association or want to know more about finding a way to get involved, please drop me an email at [email protected]. I’d love to help you get connected.

Thanks for all you do to influence high school students, college students, and fellow professionals! I appreciate you! I hope to see you the MIDWest Conference in May!

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