Iris Martinez
Director of College & Career Guidance
Christopher Columbus High School (FL)

What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
My journey in college admission counseling began unexpectedly when I was looking for a job while in grad school and I found one as a seasonal reader. What initially seemed like a temporary gig, turned out to shape my entire career. I soon discovered my passion for helping students navigate the complexities of higher education by sharing my story.

What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is being able to guide, educate, and empower students to take control of their future by connecting them with the resources and opportunities available to them. What truly motivates me is cultivating these meaningful relationships with them and ultimately witnessing them thrive beyond the classroom!

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
My involvement in NACAC and SACAC, my regional affiliate, has afforded me opportunities to continuously tap into a rich network of invaluable resources allowing me to learn and grow in both my personal and professional life. In doing so, I have been able to better serve students and families.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
I believe that one of the most significant challenges in our field today is often underestimating the complexity of navigating high school, not just for students but for counselors as well. Transitioning from college admissions to college counseling has given me a fresh perspective on the challenges faced on the high school side. There are numerous conflicting priorities, just look at a school’s calendar. In addition to managing an already complex and competitive admissions process it’s crucial to remember that the students we assist are teenagers, grappling with the typical struggles of adolescence so anxiety and stress are prevalent.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I’m a foodie — so you’ll find me eating out. Also, as a Formula 1 fan, you can catch me glued to qualifying sessions on Saturdays and watching the races on Sundays with my husband and daughter during the season.

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Ted Lasso for sure! He’s inspiring, adaptable, and full of positivity and optimism. Oh, he’s also funny and doesn’t even try!


Published Nov. 27, 2023