Connecting with Others on the Road

This month will mark my 12th year in Admissions, and while I love my job and working with students, one of the biggest reasons I’ve stayed in  Admissions is because of the people I’ve been fortunate to work with or alongside. Recently, during one of my Iowa ACAC committee meetings some of my committee members remarked about how different the landscape of admissions travel has become over the years. When we had first joined the profession, connecting with admission reps from other schools for lunch in-between fairs or a social hour after a day of travel was the norm. A few of us reminisced about the good ole days in Shenandoah! These types of stories seem to be fading, and it made us all wonder why?

We pondered if we were offering enough opportunities for reps to connect throughout the travel season, or if there is a generational difference of wanting to leave work at work and not feeling the desire to connect with others, or if, potentially, reps have too many responsibilities and not enough time for socializing. While we don’t think there is just one answer, we know things have shifted, and we see a need for the pendulum to swing back the other way. Some of the best parts of being an admissions counselor are building connections with other reps. These connections may result in lifelong friendships or simply get you through the travel season—either way, we think they are extremely important to job satisfaction.

ACU is a great starting point to meeting others that are new to our profession, but this can’t be the last time you get to know other reps. Join the group of reps headed to lunch at the local café in-between fairs, attend the member meet ups and talk to reps you’ve never met before, be the person to get a group together for a social gathering during the swing of fairs, or attend an ACAC conference and go out of your way to introduce yourself to someone new. Having a group to exchange travel adventures with, vent to, or simply get to know will make your time on the road more meaningful.

If you are a supervisor, I’d ask you to encourage your staff members to meet others. At a time when turnover is high in many professions, this is a way to keep staff engaged. This might mean giving your counselors an evening off from phone calls or events, but in the end, I think we know it will be worth it.

Looking back, I truly appreciate my first supervisor for encouraging me to meet others while I was on the road, and I could not be more grateful for the reps from Grand View University, DMACC, and Nebraska Wesleyan for their persistence on getting a group together after a SWCC fair back in 2012. While some of those friendships have faded into memories, others have lasted, and I wouldn’t be the admissions professional I am today without those.

 Marissa Wetrich, on the right, as part of the 2012 ACU Class team scavenger hunt!

five people on a bus 




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