Collegewise is now 37 full-timers strong, spread out over 23 offices in 11 states. One of the advantages of having such a large team is that we can always turn to our hive mind when we need help. No single counselor could anticipate everything we might face counseling students, working with families, and growing our offices. But with 37 Collegewisers pooling our collective interests, talents, and experiences together, someone in our crew can usually jump in and help out a teammate with advice, encouragement, or a helpful resource.
Amy in our Westport office recently put together an internal database for us that describes each counselor’s formal credentials like where we went to college, what we studied, and what admissions or counseling-related experience we bring to the table. But the part of the database I enjoyed the most was the section that asked us to describe what other talents or skills we thought we had that might occasionally be helpful to a Collegewise co-worker.
We didn’t submit our entries with the intent to share them with anyone but ourselves, so nobody was trying to inject too much marketing oomph into their descriptions. We were simply telling our colleagues, “Here are a few things I think I’m good at. If you have a question or need help, I’d be happy to pitch in.”
The responses made me feel even prouder of the talented, driven, interesting people I get to work with every day. And it reminded me that sometimes the best way to learn more about your co-workers, co-members, or employees might be just to ask them.
Here are some of the responses:
- Making friends with anyone and everyone, any/all Collegewise training, tough counseling situations
- Licensed school guidance counselor, newsletters, special needs
- Punctuation/proofing, making anything that ALREADY exists just a bit or a lot better. I was social chair in my fraternity. I know good design and college football. Traveling cheap.
- Marketing, branding, business development, design
- Finding the appropriate gift for all occasions, design- including PowerPoint, Spanish (though I’d need to brush up before I do a seminar…), editor, Googler/researcher
- Photoshop and various film editing software, good understanding of CA public school systems
- I maintain a file of all of the things that I read with regard to higher education (also research), PowerPoint decks (but this is also keyed to my presentation style). Also not giving boring presentations? Generally familiar with putting together conference presentations/proposals/abstracts, published an article in the Journal of College Admission (NACAC journal)
- Grammar zealot, strong writing background, ordering supplies, arranging travel, event planning, I designed and write a vegan food blog
- I worked in a high-achieving high school, presentations in high schools
- Any/all trainings, customer service issues, stuff that involves color coding and/or type A skills, office decoration and organization
- Mental health counseling, skills in stress management, relaxation techniques, de-escalation, promoting positivity, conflict resolution, working with different types of students and families (difficult parents, traumatic experiences that come up in essay brainstorming, etc.)
- Public speaking, writing, marketing, running a business people will talk about, and teaching others how to do those things, too.
- I like creative writing and I speak an obscure/dying Eastern European language
- BNEA grant administrator, filmmaker and advertising producer, interior design
- Editing, graduate school humanities admissions
- Powerpoint, grammar, school counseling certification so I have received training in related areas – personal counseling, crisis management, a little bit of group facilitation and career counseling
- Athletic recruiting
- Research, help with public speaking
- Copywriting, course development, editing and proofreading, mentoring.
- Business development/PR
- Grammar Nerd (Oxford Comma Task Force Rules!), willingness to try new things
- Financial aid officer at Harvard for 4 years and calculated hundreds of financial aid awards
- Marketing, branding, product development, PowerPoint
- Understand parent perspective, marketing background, love to brainstorm ideas for just about anything, aiming to reach for grammar freak status
- Pre-Law advising, study skills coaching
- Graphic design (and own Adobe Creative Suite at home), Numbers/finance/excel, enrollment management geek
- Grammar freak
- Wrote and edited speeches and congressional testimony, experience scheduling and running international travel, organizing conferences and running meetings, yoga and meditation teacher
- American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Office
- Writer and editor for a national magazine, I can pull out a great pun (if there is such a thing) at a moment’s notice.
- Former head of enrollment for three independent/private high schools