Nathania Francois

What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
Working as a tour guide and at the front desk in my alma mater’s admission office drew me into the world of college admission. As my senior year ended, I realized that the experiences that shaped my fieldwork for my bachelor of social work centered around access to education. As a teen health adviser, I worked with Girl’s Inc. of Lynn (MA). I partnered with student peer leaders, primarily from KIPP Lynn and Lynn high schools, to promote teen health. I often supported and guided my peer leaders on their college journey. I leaned on the resources and information I absorbed as an admission tour guide and receptionist. That sparked an interest in college admission and I applied for the junior admission counselor position at my alma mater, Salem State University (MA).

What is your favorite part of the job?
I have so many, and I could go on and on. Still, my favorite part of the job as an admission/college counselor is the opportunity to sit at the table and use my privilege to make a change and impact higher education spaces for BIPOC students and professionals. I want to continue to create safe spaces that uplift, motivate, and inspire folks to value themselves and make the best decisions that promote self-elevation and improvement.

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
NACAC has exposed me to the MOST valuable professional experiences and elevated my career. I encourage those new to the profession to seek professional development through NACAC. As an entry-level professional, you should participate in professional development opportunities annually. I have worked in admission for eight to nine years and have attended NACAC conferences or alternative conferences within the DEI/higher education field annually.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?

There are so many things I don’t know where to begin. The biggest challenge facing our profession is that there are more harmful and problematic professional spaces than healthy ones. I understand that there is no perfect work utopia. However, why is it SO hard to establish and attract an environment that uplifts, motivates, inspires, and trusts folks hired to DO GOOD work? We spend more time at work than with our loved ones at home. Too many of us are in professional spaces that often make us feel undervalued, overworked, and underpaid.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I am somewhere in the mountains and near a body of water. I plan to enjoy hiking and lying on the beach on a beautiful island during my time off.

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Princess Tiana, because she comes from a culture that I belong to and can resonate with. She also loves cooking and good music; I firmly believe that food and music are remedies that heal the heart.


Published June 10, 2024