Tess Ferzoco, M.Ed.
Vice President for Enrollment Management
Edgewood College (WI)

What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
While I was attending undergrad, I worked in the admissions office and as a campus tour guide. I loved sharing my experiences with prospective students. From that position I learned how to successfully listen to the needs of students and positively influence their college search process. About a year after I graduated, I accepted my first admission counselor role after briefly working in corporate HR.

What is your favorite part of the job?
The opportunity to assist students in navigating their options for college through admissions work. Witnessing the moment when a student realizes that college is indeed within their reach and helping them enroll in their first semester classes is incredibly rewarding. There’s an undeniable surge of energy that comes from witnessing their excitement and newfound sense of possibility. The ultimate highlight for me is watching students walk across the stage during commencement at the culmination of their educational journey. It’s a profoundly moving experience that serves as a powerful reminder of the impact of our work. This journey from admissions to graduation encapsulates the transformative power of education, and being a part of that process is an honor and a privilege.

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
I have made some of the best professional connections through NACAC. I look forward to the annual conference and the ability to meet new professionals as well as connect with others I only see once a year. Each time I am faced with an issue, I know I can turn to other NACAC members for ideas and support.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
The pervasive negative rhetoric that surrounds higher education in the media. It dents the value and significance of education while eroding public trust in institutions. The media is responsible for sensationalizing isolated incidents and misrepresenting complex issues. All of this leads to misconceptions questioning the purpose and impact of continuing education. When we start to question education we create a negative impact cycle that discourages students from continuing to college and exacerbates funding issues for institutions, which then diminishes financial support leading to less research, academic learning, and eventually innovation.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, our daughter, and our two dogs. We spend most of our time outdoors hiking, camping, biking, and frequenting beer patios/breweries. (We are living in Wisconsin, after all!)

What five words would you use to describe yourself?
Ambitious. Observant. Just. Trustworthy. Forthright.


Published July 29, 2024