Ann R. Miller, director of enrollment and financial aid, Greens Farms Academy (CT)
Why do you belong to The Enrollment Management Association?
I have been a member of The Enrollment Management Association since I joined the enrollment management profession 17 years ago. Although it’s always provided strong support for admission professionals, in the past five years EMA has risen to a new level in providing professional development, assessment, and data support for enrollment managers.
What has changed the most in the world of independent school admission and enrollment since you first started?
I sound like a broken record around my office, but enrollment management has shifted from a “gatekeeper model” to one in which every enrollment management professional, in every school, needs to understand and engage in marketing at all stages. The market is shrinking, the customer has changed, and the degree of competition among schools has increased (this is a pity!).
What keeps you up at night?
Families are less willing to understand the extraordinary benefits that an independent school can provide to their child.
If you could tell yourself one thing when you took your first job in admission, what would it be?
The enrollment management and communication and marketing teams must be aligned. When that happens, the sky’s the limit in terms of running a successful EM program.
What do admission professionals and enrollment professionals need to be successful?
They need to have high EQ, strive for excellence at all stages of the process, and understand that prospective families are king and the better you serve those families, the more successful you will be.
What is the number one attribute needed to succeed in your role?
Empathy—it’s needed with your work with prospective families, with a team, with your school colleagues, and to help you get through the endless days and nights.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Work hard but work smart—figure out what are the most important things and hit those out of the park. Also, understand that this profession has the coolest, most interesting, funny, and warm people, and that if you don’t figure out a way to collaborate with your colleagues, you will not have nearly as much fun as you should.