Job shadow with Andy Arends

Andy Arends updates his “about me” page for the admissions website. ©2014 Ben Leadholm

Andy Arends updates his “about me” page for the admissions website. ©2014 Ben Leadholm

Andy Arends has learned a lot since August. Arends is in his first year as an admissions counselor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Arends graduated in 2010 from UW-Eau Claire with degrees in accounting and organizational communication. After a brief stint working as an accountant and earning a master’s degree in student affairs, Arends returned in August to UW-Eau Claire on a one year contract as an admissions counselor.

During his days as an undergraduate, Arends was involved in campus life. His many activities included: being a resident assistant, a tour guide, an intern in the admissions office and an orientation assistant. He says that all of these experiences helped him to realize that this was a career he wants to pursue.

As an admissions counselor, Arends has a wide range of duties. Each admissions counselor has a day that he or she is the Counselor of the Day or “COD”. Being the “COD” means that they are in charge of making large group presentations to prospective students, and are also the first counselor to answer any phone calls or emails dealing with prospective students. Arends works very closely with the campus ambassadors. Recently he helped interview and select next year’s ambassadors. Arends is also the main social media coordinator for the admissions office and is in charge of creating social media campaigns, such as the #BlugoldBound picture contest on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. He also is the main creator of online chats for prospective students. Arends travels to several high schools and college fairs to interact with counselors and to meet potential students. Finally, Arends does a lot of event planning on campus. Most recently he has been creating special visit days for specific students, such as business, education, music, nursing, and undeclared students.

Something that is surprising about Arends’ job, and relatively unique to UW-Eau Claire, is that the only time he looks at a potential student’s application is when admissions is giving out scholarships. This is not one of his favorite parts of his job. There are two people who make the actual admission decision: one person reviews to make sure that the candidate meets all of the requirements and a second person looks at the essays and involvement.

Arends’ advice for students seeking a job in student affairs would be three things: get involved in college, perfect your speaking, presentation and communication skills, and make connections.

“I got this job because I had a connection and a great reference from when I was in college,” Arends said.

As a Blugold Alum, Arends takes great pride in showing off Eau Claire to the next wave of Blugolds.

“I love Eau Claire. It’s easy to show the pride because it’s in me,” Arends said.

Click here to hear more from Arends.

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