Jeremy D. Dickerson
Office of Admissions
University of Arkansas
Education and Qualifications:
Doctoral Candidate, Higher Education, University of Arkansas
Certificate Candidate, Educational Statistics and Research Methods, University of Arkansas
M.Ed., Higher Education, University of Arkansas
B.A., German, Hendrix College
edu.de Fellow at Phillips-Universität in Marburg, Germany, sponsored by the Deutscher Adademischer Austausch Dienst
Congress-Bundestag Scholar at Gymnasium Bremervörde, Germany
Describe a typical day on your job.
Broadly speaking, my responsibilities include overseeing orientation, prospective student data acquisition, information technology services, admissions processing, and related inferential and descriptive statistics for the state’s flagship institution. Having said that, I take great pride in the fact that I rarely have a “typical day.” You may encounter a number of professionals who make this claim, but how many wake up at 6 a.m. only to learn that they need to be in St. Louis for a last-minute event at 3:00! On any given day, you may find me meeting with students, querying data, running statistical inquiries, presenting to several hundred prospective students, or driving to unforeseen adventures.
How do you use German?
I only use German directly on the rare occasion when an exchange student stops by the office. While working on my B.A., I was fortunate to have the flexibility to take beginning courses in French, Latin, Dutch, Old High German, Middle English, and American Sign Language. As I reflect on the skills I acquired in switching between and learning myriad language families, I believe that the required skillset is highly fungible. Once equipped to quickly learn a new language, one is able to adapt to changing conditions and to appreciate ambiguity. When I discuss my job duties with others, they are flummoxed when I mention that I have a German degree. But math, data, and computer programming all draw from artificial languages. Learning German and learning the basics of so many other languages positioned me well for assuming these responsibilities.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of your job?
I must say that I am very fortunate to have a job that I love. Intermittent stress is not uncommon, but it does not bother me because I get to do something that brings me great satisfaction: namely, helping students gain entry and attend a world-class institution, one that is equipped to help them realize their dreams. I don’t see any disadvantage in that.
Do you have any advice for someone who would like to enter your field?
Most people will enter the profession as I did, as a recruiter. Because of long hours and travel, many do not stay in the field for long, so there are excellent career opportunities for those who persevere. A trap I see many recruiters fall into is believing that the recruitment process is mostly about them and their abilities to maintain relationships with individual students. I do not discount that part of the recruitment process, but those, who understand the tremendous efforts expended on administrative support, data management, marketing, and event planning (i.e., the big picture), are the ones who are poised to move up the ranks in enrollment management.