Published August 4, 2021
This month's featured Professional Staff Senate member is Allison Bannister, Enrollment Services Advisor in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
I have worked at the University at Buffalo for 4 years and 2 months. I started at EOC recruiting and enrolling low-income students in health care certificate programs. I currently work for the offices of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid as an Enrollment Service Advisor.
Aside from the students and families I get to meet, I love that my job is never the same thing two days in a row. One day I am in New Jersey talking to high school students about the college search process, the next day I am in 1 Capen talking to students and their parents about making a financial plan for their education. I work with a number of offices that keep me learning and growing every day, challenging me to look at things from a new perspective to problem solve.
The blunt conversations that are had during the enrollment process can be really draining. After working in enrollment management for 10 years, you have to look at those tough conversations as learning moments for students and their parents. From that perspective, conversations become transformative and aspirational rather than a dead end.
I cannot take full credit for this because it was a team effort over several years, but the best project that I have been a part of is creating a more streamlined and student-centered EOP admissions process. When I started my position it was a newly created title and my fellow Enrollment Service Advisors and I were tasked with reimagining the EOP process. We have tried many new ideas, some failures but many more successes. We have focused on promoting financial literacy and building a supportive community from the moment a student applies. This year has been our most successful yet and we are hoping to build on our momentum. Laura, Bethany, L’erin, and Leon are the best teammates I could ask for.
I will say both the admissions office and the financial aid office have the best holiday parties. If you are ever invited to either, don’t hesitate, just say yes and bring a dish to share.
Keep learning and sharing. I think after some time we all feel like we have our job or UB or higher education figured out but there is always someone with different life or work experiences that can transform the way you look at a task. The best thing I did for myself in my first year was to understand what different offices did and why. It made me better at my job and supporting new students, and allowed me to build a network of colleagues to turn to when I have run out of answers.
A lot of my hobbies come from 10 years at summer camp including crafting, hiking, kayaking and swimming. Additionally, I am a true crime junkie so you can often find me listening to a podcast or reading about serial killers.
I love to make lasagna, I love to eat burritos.
I have a long list of places but my husband’s family is from outside of Paris before his dad moved to the US in the 70s. I would love to see all the places I’ve seen in pictures in real life.
My parents tried to name me Mookie after Mookie Wilson because my mom had adrenaline-induced false labor when Bill Buckner let the ball go through his legs during the 1986 World Series.
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