I never thought that my part time job as an undergraduate would lead me to my career. But that’s what makes college so exciting—you never know how different experiences will shape your future and open your eyes to careers you didn’t even know existed. It all began in the winter of my sophomore year—I applied to be a tour guide. It seemed like a great job: talk to students about how much I loved my college experience, answer questions they had about the admissions process, and walk backwards. I knew I was coordinated enough to walk backwards (I was a dance major, so that part should be a piece of cake!) and I was excited to help mentor prospective students. After an intense interview and training process, I got the job! Whether it was raining, snowing, or a perfect sunny day, I could be found walking backwards around campus, sharing my love of my undergraduate institution with juniors and seniors in high school. I spent a lot of time working in the admissions office, eventually supervising other tour guides. If I wasn’t in the dance studio or the library, you could usually find me in the admissions office! As I started thinking about what I wanted to do once I graduated, I spoke with many of my mentors in the admissions office, and discovered what a great career admissions could be! I loved to travel, meet new people, and after helping students as a tour guide, I was excited to counsel them in a professional setting as an admissions counselor.
Did you know that admissions runs in my family? (I didn’t until recently! But I guess I was genetically inclined to go into admissions, even if I didn’t know it!) My Grandmaworked in the Dean’s Office of Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey and helped evaluate applications for graduate admission. My Aunt Diane and Uncle Kelly actually met while they were both working in admissions! They were placed next to each other at a college fair in Maryland and were married just a few months later! I guess you could say I’m a third generation admissions counselor.
I think the lesson to take away from this blog post is that college is about so much more than what you learn in the classroom as an undergraduate. I was shaped just as much by my experiences outside of the classroom as I was with what I learned in the classroom. From the clubs I was involved with, to my study abroad experience, and my part time job as a tour guide, I learned so much about myself, my passions, strengths, and weaknesses. College is all about new experiences and personal growth. While I don’t have to walk backwards as an admissions counselor (and our students ambassadors don’t either, this is NYC after all!), I am so glad I decided to apply to be a tour guide and walk backwards into a career I really love!