From Student to Counselor: Checking in with Alex!

Hi all! Alex here, friendly neighborhood admission counselor! I’ve only had two months on the job so far, but gosh has it been a wild ride. My first day at work was a day-long conference for SoCal admission counselors over at Occidental, and it’s only gotten busier since! Summer is supposed to be downtime; an opportunity for us to plan out our fall trips to meet you at high schools and college fairs across the world, but languishing in a holiday holding pattern is not really our style over here at Pitzer! Just as so many of our stellar prospective applicants are doing internships, working hard at jobs, and getting versatile academic experiences, the PZ admission counselors are keeping busy. Sounds tough for an office newbie, right?

(Let’s all marvel at the transformation…)

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Well, let me back up for a sec! Even though I’ve only been an admission counselor at Pitzer for around two months now, I’ve been a part of the larger Pitzer community for 4 years as a student, RA, sound technician, researcher, and erstwhile sea chantey soloist. I did so much work here at Pitzer, inside and outside the Office of Admission, that it seemed totally natural for me to try to get a job here. Two weeks after graduation I returned to Pitzer’s campus and started work! So, while I might be new to this job, I’m pretty much an old pro at all things Pitzer. Returning to my alma mater with no real break in the action has partially been why this summer is so exciting! I helped plan a great on-campus program with EMERGE, a Texas based college access organization with values that align with Pitzer’s, I’ve interviewed prospective students, helped train student staff members, and even already got to travel to a college fair in Illinois put on by the swell folks over at Chicago Scholars! It’s becoming clear to me, that a lot of the time, being a Pitzer staff member can be pretty similar to being a Pitzer student!


Along those lines, a lot of our conversations at the office this summer have been about how we can collectively support current and prospective and Pitzer students in a more comprehensive way. We’re a young school, and that means a lot of things for the people who make up this community. Pitzer is secure in its identity, but that identity is one ideally defined by constant change. Even though we’re busy in the Office of Admission thinking of novel ways to do our jobs and prepare for application season, it’s also important for us to ask “What can we do better?” That’s not necessarily a question we can answer ourselves. Our work involves so many moving pieces, across countries, ages, genders, races, religions and socioeconomic statuses, that we rely on feedback from the diverse array of people we interact with.


What does this mean for you as a prospective student, or a new member of the Pitzer community, in the coming months? At least for me, it means you should be asking the tough questions. The common “What’s your least favorite thing about Pitzer?” is a good start, but, at least in my opinion, you deserve more! It would be a disservice to the huge commitment you’re making to apply to Pitzer, or pursue higher education in general, if I ever tried to obfuscate something about this place to you. In your application to Pitzer, we’re going to ask you about how our core values apply to your life; wouldn’t it be unfair if we couldn’t tell you how our vaunted ideological framework measures up in practice? If you see me on the road or on campus, don’t hold back! Be secure that our work should be focused around you, regardless of what you need or want to know.

Anyway! I’ll get off the soapbox and wrap things up. I honestly hope everyone’s summer is shaking out nicely, regardless of what the next year is going to bring. Based on these past two months, I think it’s going to be a pretty good one for me, and I wish only the best for you too!

Stay strong and good luck,

Posted by Alex Cromidas ’15, Admission Counselor