Sarah Farley is one of Concordia’s Online Admissions Counselors.
She has previous experience working with admissions at other universities and has traveled the world, briefly living in Vietnam for just short of a year. We sat down with Sarah to talk about what she does and loves as an admission counselor and what students can expect at Concordia University.
EXPLAIN WHAT YOU DO FOR YOUR ROLE.
As an online admissions counselor, it is my goal to recruit and advise prospective students through the admissions process from inquiry, acceptance, and orientation completion. I help students find which program is the best fit for them, and assist them through the application process. I work primarily with undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing their degree in Nursing programs. These programs include RN-BSN-MSN, BSN-Completion, MSN Nurse Practitioners & Nurse Educators, our CAGE (Certificate After Graduate Education) program, and our DNP program. I do my best to build a personal relationship with each student so that they feel like they are a valued member of the Concordia community.
WHAT GETS YOU EXCITED MOST ABOUT YOUR ROLE?
I thoroughly enjoy working in admissions, and feel that it is incredibly rewarding to assist students as they follow their passions, discover their strengths, and take the next step towards achieving their goals. Feeling their excitement and enthusiasm through the phone puts a smile on my face, and is one of the things I love most about being an admissions counselor.
HOW DO YOU BUILD A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR STUDENTS?
I try to make personal connections with each of my students so that they do not just feel like another number in the crowd. If we build relationships with our students, that makes Concordia stand out as a university that genuinely cares, rather than just trying to rush them into applying and registering for classes. I am always sure to ask them how their day is going and be very conversational. I make notes of previous conversations to bring up in the future, such as an upcoming move, vacation, or marriage. That way, the student knows that I am invested in their success not only through their education, but in their daily lives as well.
HOW IS FAITH INTEGRATED INTO WHAT YOU DO?
As an admissions counselor, it is my responsibility to provide guidance and support to my students as they take the next step to continue their education. Rather than a job, we like to consider our day-to-day responsibilities a vocation. I am called to provide encouragement and motivation to help my students achieve their dreams. I love helping others, and I feel fortunate that I have been blessed with the gifts to be successful in doing so.
HOW DO YOU SEE THE MISSION OF CONCORDIA BEING FULFILLED?
Our mission is to help students develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and in the world. We are helping these students to discover their strengths and realize their potential. We want to enhance the personal growth of our students so that they can take what they have learned and use it to better themselves and their communities.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS YOU GET FROM STUDENTS?
The most common questions I receive are generally related to course information or the application process. Students wonder about the cost and length of the program, how the program is structured, how many of their credits might transfer in from previous education, and what the requirements are for admissions. After application submission, students may have questions about how to request their official transcripts, how letters of recommendation should be formatted, or how to complete their background check.
HOW DO STUDENTS GET IN CONTACT WITH YOU?
Since we are working with online programs, and these students are living all over the country, our primary methods of communication are through phone calls and emails. If a student lives nearby and wants to come to the office to discuss the program in person, we certainly encourage that as well!
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS?
My best piece of advice would be don’t be afraid to ask questions. No question is a bad question, and we are here to help! I want to ensure there is no confusion or doubt when moving through the admissions process for any student, so I always emphasize that I am here for students to voice any questions or concerns. Making the decision to continue your education is a big step, and I want to make sure that the entire experience flows as seamlessly as possible and that the student feels supported 100% of the way.
— Kali Thiel is director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-243-2149.
If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.