Airline tickets…check
Hotel reservations…check
Car rental…check
Travel itinerary…check
Google maps (I am in the heart of the Silicon Valley after all)…check

I know it is rather obvious that I am preparing for a trip, but what may not be so obvious is that I am preparing for a trip at the start of what we in the admission profession call Travel Season. Travel Season is the time when college admission professionals from around the world leave their homes for days at a time to visit with our colleagues in college counseling offices, our partners at community based organizations and most importantly the eager high school students who aim to find out more about our institutions. Travel Season is also when college admission professionals rack up on airline miles, car rental points, hotel points and emails—yes, emails because they become so backlogged since we are sometimes unable to check our email account as frequently as when we are at home.

This year will mark my 6th travel season which in high school visits, college fairs/events, car rentals, hotel stays, and students seen may look something like this:
High School Visits: 348 (I may be underestimating here)
College Fairs/Events: 60
Car Rentals: 42
Hotel Stays: 60 (not nights stay, but hotels per year)
Students Seen: 45,000 (give or take a few)

What I love most about Travel Season is that I get to meet a new “crop” of wonderfully diverse and talented students who want to take their education further by exploring their college options—oh and the Biscoff cookies some airlines give, I don’t like peanuts! In what other profession do you get to fly around, meet adoring fans (of your institution, and sometimes of you), stay in hotels, share your talent and then when its all done fly back home…ok, yes I know you’re thinking rock-star, pop-star, or actor/actress and I suppose that is how I feel at times. However, my reward comes not in the form of a box office hit or a song on the top 20 charts, it comes in the form of a note of thanks, a student who enrolls at my college, truly, a student who enrolls at any college…it is a reward felt in my heart and not seen in the Green.

3oz tubes of toothpaste, lotion, and contact solution (I’m a carry-on bag person)…check
Valid photo identification…check

Personal assistant…what?

Sorry, that’s the check list for my other job…pop-star.