Meet C.R. Barclay

C.R. Barclay
The Ohio State University at Newark (OH)

How did you become a college counselor? We heard it wasn’t quite a straightforward path for you.

I always thought I would be an accountant.  At least, that is what I talked myself into believing.  It was not until I had graduated from college with my communications degree -- it makes sense now! -- that I began to see things a bit differently.  I took a job working in my school’s processing area, reviewing applications.  It was there that I saw an admission overview by NACAC member Beth Dalonzo from Muskingum University, and I was hooked. I spent the next 18 months gaining experience and understanding just went into being an admission counselor. 

I loved to talk and loved to talk about my school, but I needed to learn how to listen and answer the questions and concerns of the students I was working with.  I needed to understand that helping students see the academic values my school had was the key to both their success and mine.  To this day, I still am working on doing that one thing better --how to listen and how to connect with my students, so they will understand.

What do you love most about your job?

I love working with students and being able to do something a little different each day.  This makes it so fun and exciting, plus rewarding when a challenge has been met and student’s needs have been fulfilled.

How does NACAC play a role in your work?

The conference breakout sessions I have attended in past years have been extremely helpful to me.  What I learned from those conferences and those breakout sessions I use every day. These sessions have reenergized me when I felt a few years back that I was burning out. They helped give me focus and a better understanding of the bigger picture.  My small piece really does matter and is important. The conference breakout sessions also gave me hope when I was feeling that only I had these problems or setbacks on projects or when an event did not go as planned.  My fellow NACAC members helped reassure me that I am not alone and some have been exactly where I have been.  

The people I met at NACAC conferences gave me ideas on projects and events. They helped me understand how to move forward on issues in a productive and proactive manner. They have helped me become a role model within my office and how to be a team player.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing admission counselors today?

Staying current with the forms of communication to our students.  A simple phone call or letter/text may not render the desired effects as they did in the past.  Admission professionals have to be more creative with how they connect to their students and families.  Each family has a connection point and they are not always the same.  Admission reps must find that point of entry and use it effectively to have the student and their families see what our campuses have to offer and to allow them to see why our campuses might be a good fit for the prospective student.

What advice would you give to someone who is new in the field?

Be patient and a good listener.  Being in the admission field often means you are a good communicator.  You like to talk, great, but by allowing the student you are working with to express their thoughts, you could unlock the information to best help your student achieve their goals at your school. It may not come out all at once or in the right order, but if you allow your student to talk to you, and you listen to their words and the emotions behind those words, you are going to be a great admission representative.

List five adjectives that describe you:

  • Compassionate
  • Resourceful
  • Upbeat
  • Fair
  • Outgoing

When you aren’t working, what are you most likely to be doing?

My passion is golf!  For the past 18 years, every weekend from April through November, I have caddied at the New Albany Country Club.  At first, it was just to have some extra cash during the summer, but I realized that I was good at it.  Every now and then, I find my way to a LPGA event or Web.Com Tour qualifier. It is exciting and something to look forward to each summer, but I hold no dreams of making caddying a full-time job.  I have way too much fun being an admission counselor and working with students.  

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