Brenna May
Associate Director of International Admissions
Bennington College (VT)

What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
Like many in the field, I was really involved in my college’s admissions office as a tour guide and just fell in love with the idea of working with students through the college process. In my first professional role, I also discovered the cyclical nature of the job and how much that appeals to how I work. I can’t imagine doing the same thing at work every day and admissions is constantly changing.

What is your favorite part of the job?
Traveling and connecting with students in their hometowns is my favorite aspect of this field. Seeing where my students come from, better understanding their backgrounds, and sharing information about their college options is a wonderful experience that makes me feel more connected to the work we do.

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
NACAC is a unifier. No matter your level of involvement in the organization, from casual reader of emails to committee volunteer, NACAC guides new professionals and provides a space for continued education. I hope to continue and expand my involvement in NACAC and its affiliates because I love connecting with like-minded colleagues.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today? 
Our profession is high-profile and constantly in the public eye, resulting in increased pressure at every level. Especially for new and mid-career professionals, it can be difficult to focus on everyday work when it feels like decisions are being made 10,000 feet above our heads. In just the past few years, we have watched test-optional become the norm, a major admissions scandal make headlines nationwide, the national decision day of May 1 become nearly obsolete, and affirmative action struck down by a Supreme Court that did not consider the lasting consequences. Who knows what is to come next? These decisions will continue to rock college admissions and colleagues from all sides of the desk must be flexible, communicative, and constantly aware of what is happening in the news cycle.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I love to read, travel, cuddle my cat, and explore my local area! Trying new restaurants, going to events in my town, and enjoying the beautiful upstate New York weather are some of my favorite things to do.

What five words would you use to describe yourself?
Determined, passionate, approachable, outgoing, and compassionate – or, at least, I try to be all of these things!


Published Sept. 4, 2023