Get to know the Student Admissions Assistants
If you’ve ever called our office, chances are you have talked to one of our awesome student workers. They are a team of 23 students (called Student Admissions Assistants or “SAAs”) that help our office function every day and especially during our busiest times of the year. While admissions counselors are evaluating applications, traveling the country, and planning visit programs, the SAAs support the office in important ways.
SAAs work at the front desks to greet visitors at the Admissions Office and the Historic Old Gym, where we host our Daily Information Sessions. They also answer many of the phone calls and emails our office receives to answer the general questions about Vanderbilt, the admissions process, and opportunities to visit campus. In addition to being a face for our visitors, they also work behind the scenes and help us prepare for the many events that we host for prospective students.
I spoke with SAAs Wils Meeks ’20, Kevin Stinchcomb ’19, Elizabeth Ojo ’19, and Sofia Gonzalez ’19 to get a better glimpse into the everyday life of an SAA. During busy times, they can receive anywhere from 10-12 phone calls per hour. They’ve had conversations as quick as 30 seconds to some over 10 minutes. While some can run long, Elizabeth says she enjoys “being a helping hand in the admissions process and calming students and parents.” SAAs answer questions about student life, application materials, and scholarships and financial aid applications, among other topics. Our SAAs are well-trained about Vanderbilt admissions and they can provide a current student perspective. While SAAs will do their best to help you with a question, they’ll transfer your calls and emails to your Vanderbilt admissions counselor for more detailed questions about your Vanderbilt application.
SAAs are full-time students, so they also have their plates full with academics and student life. Our SAAs tell me that having a part time campus job can actually help with time management. Wils says he likes to ask himself “is there something I could be working on right now” in order to keep on top of his schoolwork. Most students will work anywhere from 8-15 hours per week, and our SAAs tell me they love is the flexibility in their work schedules. When finals are approaching, they often work fewer hours in order to properly study.
Wils also said “I like getting professional development experience from the admissions counselors and getting to know them.” We certainly enjoy getting to know our SAAs as well! You can learn more about each of our SAAs (as well as our Tour Guides, Inside ‘Dores bloggers, and Global Ambassadores) through our contact a student page.
If you come to campus, be sure to say hi to our friendly SAAs so you can get to know them better yourself!