What do you do as the director of international admissions?
As the international admissions counselor I work with students from all around the world to help them study in the United States. I work with students, families, and international partners to advertise Wilkes and share what makes us so unique and special. I enjoy helping students process their applications and navigating a new opportunity far away from their home. I look at my role as having the opportunity bring a little bit of the world to Wilkes!
How long have you worked at Wilkes?
I am fairly new to the Wilkes family. I have only been at Wilkes about 10 months and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it so far!
I understand you aren’t based on campus. Where is “home base” for you and how often do you come to Wilkes?
I am based out of Columbus, Ohio, which is about a seven-hour drive away from Wilkes-Barre. It sounds like quite a drive but it isn’t too bad once you throw on some music or podcasts! I come to Wilkes about once a month, sometimes more, when we have international visitors on campus.
What did you do before joining the team at Wilkes?
Before coming to Wilkes, I was working at another university in Ohio also working with international students! I found my passion of international education during my undergraduate studies while I was working as an office assistant in the international office at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. It felt like second nature to me and I honestly couldn’t picture myself doing anything else!
How is recruiting international students different than recruiting students in the United States?
Recruiting international students is much different than recruiting students in the United States. One of the biggest challenges is the fact the students can’t easily come and visit the campus, so I have to find creative and unique ways to take our campus around the world. I like to use videos and images to show off our campus and the exciting things happening in Wilkes-Barre. The other unique piece to recruiting international students is sometimes my job needs to be done at odd hours. Being on the opposite side of the world means when it’s night time here, it’s the daytime somewhere else! I have to adjust my time when trying to talk to students and partners. Most recently I did a Skype call at 2:30 a.m. our time to accommodate one of our international partners.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is that I get to interact with people from all over the world. It gives me an opportunity to learn about new cultures and traditions that I might not otherwise have known about. I’ve always had an interest in learning about people that were not from the U.S. I love being able to help students and come to the U.S. to study and make them feel like this is their home away from home.
How much of your time is spent traveling? What are some of the memorable memorable/ interesting places you’ve visited?
Traveling in this role happens at different times of year depending on the educational system of the country we plan to visit. Most recently (in spring) I was in Toronto, Canada, speaking with high school students about coming to Wilkes and advertising our athletic team. Other times I could expect to be gone for a at least a week up to two or three depending on the location. I always say my favorite place to travel is Paris, France, as I did my study abroad experience there during my undergrad. I LOVE the history and the architecture but I can’t go without getting macaroons from La Duree! I’ve seen and experienced some really neat things in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, and Shanghai, China. I was amazed to see the traffic and how people drive their motor bikes all over the road in Vietnam it really was a site to see and it was my first time eating pho, which was delicious! Shanghai was just as beautiful as I had imagined, I was able to see the Yu Garden where I saw more traditional Chinese buildings. I can’t wait for my next adventure!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I love to play with my dogs Fez and Carter: they are my fur babies! I also enjoy running in 5ks. I’m a slow runner but I just enjoy being outside and trying to do better than I did in my last run. I also like to do home improvement projects and binge watch TV shows. Most recently I watched all of the Game of Thrones series in just under 2 weeks to make sure I could be caught up before the new season came out.