Admissions Officer Insight: Why I Like Being An Admissions Officer

Rice admissions officers on National Quest Day

Admissions Officer Corner is a series of posts written by college admissions officers at QuestBridge partner colleges

I’ve yet to meet anyone in the admission profession whose childhood dream was to grow up and be an admission officer. Can you imagine it, a kindergartner in a suit with a nametag, a tote bag of college brochures and a stack of information cards for toys to fill out?

I decided to work in admission because of the influence of the people who had a positive impact on my life and my desire to help others gain access to higher education. For me, as a low-income and first-generation student, going to college wasn’t an expectation or something I could take for granted. I had great support at home, but my parents weren’t able to help guide me through high school or the admission process. Fortunately, I had mentors through the Upward Bound program that were able to help me navigate the process. Among the schools on my list, there was one that was unlike any of my other choices. I met an admission representative from that school who cared enough to open my eyes to the opportunities available there. Ultimately, that was the school I attended, and I was a student worker in the admission office for 3 years.

There are many things I enjoy about being an admission representative. Over the years, I’ve learned so much and have met some amazing people. I love traveling across the country each fall and meeting high school students who are eager to learn more about the school I represent. I enjoy working with college students and seeing them share their excitement for Rice with prospective students. I appreciate the knowledge and experience I gain from working with colleagues at other colleges, high schools and at community based organizations. I feel honored to be part of the journey of so many students as I continue in this profession. They may not all know who I am, but I’ve had the privilege of getting to know them through their applications, essays and recommendation letters. Of course, working in college admission often means presenting disappointing decisions to students, but I’m still thankful that they were each willing to share their story with me. I may not get to personally meet each student that applies or even each student we admit, but year after year, I look forward to hitting the road and recruiting a whole new class of potential Rice students.

Aurora Ignacio, Associate Director of Admission and Coordinator of Hispanic Recruitment, Rice University