Mark Faldet is a jack of all trades who spent the last 32 years of his professional life in college admissions. Yes, you read that correctly – 32 years! In a career field that is often dominated by a 2 to 5 year turnover rate, Mark is a rare find.
After graduating from college in 1982 with a management degree, Mark took what he calls a “four-year hiatus” from the college campus before being hired by his alma mater in 1986. Since then, he has devoted his career to recruiting prospective students for the college, serving as a resource to those exploring college options, and trying to keep up with the ever-changing technology used around the world (although, he is still reluctant to retire his trusted flip-phone).
How did you decide to enter the world of college admissions?
My college experience had such a profound effect on me that I thought I should share that with other people. Here we are 32 years later!
How has the college search process changed in the last 32 years?
The Internet has really been a game changer; students use it as their primary resource to find out about colleges. My role is now more about being the person who connects families with the information and people they need to make an informed decision.
What advice do you share with students who are exploring college options?
- Find schools that put grads into the places where you want to be in the future, whether that is a graduate school, profession, certain environment, or beyond.
- Get out and visit college campuses. Each college has its own personality that isn't always expressed well on paper or in a virtual format.
- Financially, don’t be afraid to extend yourself if you have a strong desire to attend a specific school. Most people borrow more money for a car than they do for college—and in the long run, your college investment will appreciate over the course of your lifetime if you make the right choice for you. A car’s value often depreciates significantly within a few years.
What is your favorite part of working with students in this way?
Getting to know prospective students and their families…and knowing that this will be a positive investment for them. If they come and engage with the college it will change their life.
Do you have anything else to share?
The college decision is quite often about a feeling. Find a place where you feel comfortable enough, yet challenged along the way. It will be a positive decision in the end.