Auna R. Hearne
College Counselor
The Village School (TX)

What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
In high school, I did not have a college counselor. My art history teacher wrote my counselor letters! I made some uninformed and irresponsible choices about higher education, especially when financing college. Now, I feel like I’m constantly becoming and improving on the person I needed as a high school student to benefit the students I now serve. I also really like paperwork and processes and helping students and families navigate them.

What is your favorite part of the job?
I love discovering new colleges and universities by traveling to visit campuses and meeting with admissions reps when they come to my school! Diversity in offerings and pathways is what makes our profession so unique. We are constantly working to match students to the best-fit programs at the best-fit colleges and universities. It is always a treat to experience and learn how a school could best serve my students.

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
NACAC is a motivating force and ultimate vehicle of professional development and networking in our profession. Even though I have recently joined NACAC, I am not new to college admissions counseling. As a young admissions professional, I was a state affiliate member and benefitted from professional development like Texas ACAC’s Admission & College Counseling Institute and conferences. However, it was my first NACAC conference in 2018 that really showed me the vast scope and range of our profession. My experience in Salt Lake City motivated me to remain committed to this work and get more involved. I’m excited to be attending the 2023 conference as a presenter and hope to continue building my network of professionals around this admissions roundtable.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
I get sad when I hear of colleges closing. I know every circumstance is unique, but I know a growing number of Americans are questioning the value of going to college. With the recent Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action, I worry that even more people will not pursue higher education as a pathway for career and personal advancement. We must be innovative and genuine in the way that we work with students and families to extol the benefits of higher education.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I am a professional secret shopper. I am always evaluating customer service. 😉

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Gracie from Gracie’s Corner. Homegirl can sing and dance and gets to hang out with her friends and celebrities while teaching important concepts.


Published Aug. 28, 2023