Travel Season Wrap Up
Post by Tia Bell
“Whoa, how tall are you?!” The only question I received more than “do you play basketball?” It brought smiles to my face and more attention to my table. It allowed me to break the barriers of anxiety and fences of intimidation. My height served as the greatest gift I could ask for. Students, so intrigued by my presence, entertainingly approached me as a human being instead of as an Admissions Counselor.
I was assigned all in- state travel by my Director. Under the Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officer, or CACRAO for short, I was responsible for attending regional college fairs and promoting all aspects of higher education! My first recruitment trip was to Asheville, North Carolina. Now that I had the students’ attention, I could without a doubt sell NC State!
Being in western North Carolina for the first time was quite the experience. The scenic views were like something I had never seen before! The weather was amazing and I was surrounded by mountains. The students were impressive, as well. Most students were prepared with questions and knew exactly what State had to offer. I found that a majority of students in this area were heavily interested in Agriculture, Veterinarian Medicine, Pre-Med and Architecture.
I had three weeks of travel under my belt before I headed towards the coastal region. Three weeks may not seem like a long time to you all but by this time I had discovered myself as an Admissions Counselor. I was more comfortable and confident. I had also realized that it was not the information that the students obtained that was most valuable but instead the feeling that they felt leaving the table! I quickly learned during my first few weeks out that NC State University inevitably sold itself, so I had to figure out a way to leave an unforgettable impression! Other than using my height and individual experiences, I tried to give student information most helpful to their specific situation. This allowed us to connect on a more personal level and help me leave a memorable experience.
I was fortunate to spend my last two weeks of travel in Pitt County and Wilmington. I originally thought that the only difference between Eastern and Western North Carolina was the barbecue sauce, but I quickly noticed that I was wrong! The presence of large areas of farmlands and the humidity stood out the most. Unlike most of the other counselors, I appreciated the heat and looking into the cotton fields. Although there was a vast contrast in interests, the students were just as stunning and prepared as the Western Carolina students. Students from the Coastal Plain region adored our marine science, industrial engineering, and life science programs!
My first travel season was awesome! It was fun to relive the high school experience. I stated the Pledge of Allegiance, heard morning announcements, and sometimes participated in spirit week! More importantly, I was, in a sense, educated while educating; I was blessed to have the opportunity to interact with students and families who cherished my university, I was able to truly experience North Carolina as a state, and I was privileged to learn what it takes to be an Admissions Counselor! I think that I could appreciate my exposure to North Carolina more being from Washington, DC and a Student- Athlete. I never had the chance to explore and truly learn about my surroundings! With that being said I have future plans to visit the Biltmore Estate and the Outer Banks but first I have to survive working at a desk 9 hours a day! Wish me luck
Until next time Pack Nation,