Welcome to Admissions…Now What?

November 7, 2022 Hans Mundahl

group waving a welcome

As July 1 comes around, a whole new group of enrollment folks is starting new jobs. Whether you’ve been in admissions and enrollment for a long time but you’re starting at a new school or you’re brand new to this fantastic career, we hope you’ll find this work meaningful and exciting.

But what should you be doing this summer? Maybe you’re hustling to fill the last few spots at your school before doors open for the fall, or perhaps you’ve started work on a campus that feels pretty empty right now. Whichever case you might be experiencing here are our top tips for how to make the most of your summer!

  • Ask About the Numbers—Whether you’re a director or an associate checking in on the enrollment numbers for the fall is a great place to start. If you’re full, that’s great! Now is a good time to get ready for the year ahead. If you still have a few students to enroll, that’s great! Now is a good time to dive right in and help.
  • Take a Tour, or Three or Four—One thing is for sure in admissions: at some point, you’ll need to give a family a tour of campus. We recommend asking as many different people as possible to give you a tour. Start with one of your student tour guides, then ask a teacher to show you around campus from their point of view. Ask someone from the facilities department to give you a behind-the-scenes look. You might never show a family where the paper towels are kept, but you can bet it will be helpful to know at some point!
  • Read and Watch Everything—Become a detective at your school by reading and watching everything you can about the school. Watch every video on the website, follow every social media site, and read all the back issues of the alumni magazine. It will be helpful to know how your school tells its own story, and who knows you might learn a thing or two!
  • Break Out of Your Bubble—It can be easy for admission folks to only talk to families who know and love the school. Break out of your bubble by asking around to find folks who don’t know the school as well to hear their perspectives. Ask your mom to check out the website and find out what she thinks, call the last three families to enroll to find out why they chose the school, and even consider getting community input from neighbors, or real estate agents. Getting an outsider's perspective can help you better understand the good (and not-so-good) parts of your school.
  • Listen to a Podcast—Here at EMA, we’ve made more than 100 episodes of The Enrollment Spectrum Podcast. If you have a question about something related to enrollment we’ve probably done an episode on it! Interested in how the word diversity can be a double-edged sword or how to think about your parents as partners? We’ve got episodes on that and a whole lot more.

What do you think? How are you spending your first summer at your school or your first summer in admission? These are just a few of the suggestions participants on one of our free “Tuesday Talks” webinars came up with! We’re sure there are many more!

About the Author

Hans Mundahl

Hans Mundahl is the Director of Professional Development at EMA. He has been an educator since 1995 when he first stepped into the classroom as a Fulbright exchange teacher in the former East Germany. Since then Hans has done just about every job possible at an independent school from teacher to administrator. Most recently Hans was the head of school at a K-8 day school in central New Hampshire. Hans’s spare time is usually spent with his family but he is also passionate about the outdoors and protecting the environment.

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