Meet Eric Wilson

Eric Wilson
Manager of Graduate Recruiting and Admissions
University of San Francisco (CA)

How did you get become the manager of graduate recruiting and admissions at the University of San Francisco?
My wife and I welcomed our first child into the world, and it was getting very difficult to travel and be away from my family. After seven years working for my alma mater, Saint Louis University (MO), I began to search for new positions. As a Jesuit university, USF follows the same values structure as SLU, and I have appreciated the new setting. This role has allowed me to practice extensive processing duties, an area I did not have experience with previously.

What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of this job has been assisting in the implementation of a new CRM (Slate) in a very hands-on manner. This has allowed me to consider how a well-planned implementation can help an admission office serve students with timely, accurate information.

How did you get involved with NACAC’s College Fairs and what does that experience mean to you?
I was approached by a colleague to see if I was interested in helping plan the San Francisco NACAC fair, and I jumped at the opportunity. Having attended a number of NACAC fairs in the past as an exhibitor, I knew firsthand what is most important to college reps in making the day a success. In addition, knowing I have a part in bringing such a rich list of colleges and universities from around the globe for Bay Area students to discover is very rewarding.

Do you have any advice for professionals new to the field?
Take care of yourself. I cannot stress this enough. As a young admission counselor, the travel piece was intriguing and exciting to me. (Free food and travel? Sign me up!) The days you are on the road will bring anxiety from the growing list of emails and applications to read. It is imperative that you take time for yourself. Go sightsee, get a massage, or whatever it takes for you to relax.

Likewise, you are not alone! Maintain a good network of travel friends, and make a point to join others for meals or fun. This will help keep you grounded, and also give you a great network for future collaboration.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing counselors today?
Burnout. Once counselors hit the three-ish year mark, the wear of the admission cycle can become really draining and repetitive. As a counselor, you have to determine if this profession is right for you, as the cycle really doesn’t change! Fortunately, higher education provides a wealth of opportunities to pivot into a different role. As such, if you are looking to enhance your resume with new experience, don’t be shy; look for open positions within your current institution (housing, student success, financial aid, advising, etc.). Cross-office knowledge is extremely valuable.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I love spending time with my family. Our son is at the age where he climbs and gets into everything he can, so keeping an eye on him is a full-time job in and of itself! I also love watching The Office. Over and over again.

If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?
My nickname in the office is Dwight, so I suppose it would have to be Dwight Schrute from The Office.

Describe yourself in five words.
Hard-working, loyal, friendly, versatile, and optimistic.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
College admission can put you through a full range of emotions. Elation when your favorite student chooses your school. Heartbreak when said student is not chosen for a scholarship even though you know they’re the best possible fit for it. At the end of the day, you have to realize you can only control what you can control, and strive to have at least one positive student interaction each day. Be the best “you” and the rest will take care of itself.

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