Job Title: Assistant Dean
Type of Company: I work for a research university.
Education: BA in Communication, Boston College MA in Higher Education Administration, Boston College
Previous Experience: I began as an admission assistant and worked my way through the ladder at various different educational institutions.
Job Tasks: I am currently oversee the admission and administration of more than 75 graduate programs. This includes marketing and recruitment of new students, training of faculty members on the admission system, working with university administration to realign the curriculum and implement new degree programs, and working with university staff to ensure that students are having the best experience while here on campus for graduate study. In addition, I work closely with our IT office to ensure that our information system is people-friendly and easy to use.
A typical day involves meeting with prospective students to discuss their interests and options for graduate study, working with a faculty member to help create a marketing plan for their programs, performing outreach to University constituents (alumni, students, faculty, staff, friends) to see that we are presented in the most positive light, and working with enrollment levels and targets to ensure that budget levels are met.
Long term goals for my position involve setting school-wide enrollment targets, creating marketing plans for the institution, communicating with faculty and administrators about the positives and negatives regarding their programs, specific processes, and the University in general.
Overall, my position is multi-faceted; that is, each day varies in responsibility, which keeps me on my toes and super focused.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Working in a college environment allows me to keep up with the latest trends -- i.e. social networking, student life, research, etc. It's refreshing to be in a place where people are always questioning and there is a philosophy of forward-thinking.
The downside (which is ironic) is that higher education, by nature, is slow to change. Faculty members become set in their ways and have difficulty adapting to new things, which can make my job -- as an administrator -- very difficult.
1. Make sure you have an understanding of university structure -- how it works, why it works that way, how it was created, and how it is run. Whether or not you think you need to know it, the knowledge will go a great distance in the long run.
2. Maintain a solid peer group -- both at your job and at other institutions. There is no better way to discuss and discover new information than with people who are doing the same (or similar) things that you're doing.
3. Maintain professionalism even in the worst situations. Losing your cool allows others to lose confidence in you.
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