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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Q&A with Admissions Advisor Amy Campos

May 16, 2023

As an Admissions Advisor for SJVC’s Visalia campus for more than 20-years, Amy Campos wears a lot of hats as she guides would-be students toward higher career options. “I am an advisor, I am a cheerleader, I am a therapist, and I am a ‘mom’,” she admits. When someone makes an appointment to explore a new career education direction and visits the Visalia campus, they have no idea what kind of support, acceptance, and guidance awaits them. And Amy is ready to show them what they can expect in their education choices, staff/faculty support, and a well-outlined path toward that new career.


What is your responsibility as an Admissions Advisor on the Visalia campus?

Everyone starts their program in the same way: by walking through those front doors. And it is my job to understand why someone came here and what made them decide to go to college. I want to find out what kind of support system they have, family responsibilities, who they are and where they are in their life. How deep is their commitment to education toward a new career.

Because I do this every day doesn’t mean they do this every day. And I want them to know that they are not alone in this process.


Do you welcome family members to be a part of the program introduction and enrollment process?

I encourage them to bring someone with them; family support is important. They have a life. I believe in what we do here, and I’m up front about the commitment they’re going to have to make and the family support they’re going to need.

I also want to be that one person they can count on here to cheer them on and remind them that they can be the person they want to be. And that commitment continues throughout their time at SJVC.


How do you introduce a prospective student to their business, medical, or technical program?

It is like another family here; it’s a network of support from beginning to end. From Admissions Advisors and Financial Aid Officers to instructors and Dean of Student Services, we have our own student support system.

We tour the campus, classrooms, labs, and potential students are introduced to their program’s instructors. We want them to see themselves fitting into that environment. They meet with financial aid and get all the information they need to make that commitment to further their education.


What is the highlight of that career exploration and decision to enroll?

We have a ‘celebration’ bell and when someone makes that decision to further their education – they ring that bell in the front lobby for all to see. That bell has a very sweet sound…and we all yell! Everyone knows that sound and knows it means someone has made a commitment for their kids, or their mom who never went to college, parents who didn’t want to ever see them working in the fields, or for an older sibling who couldn’t do what they’re doing because they had to take care of all their younger siblings.

People in the lobby or in their offices cheer and yell when that bell rings. I enjoy explaining the sound to anyone in my office who is there because they are thinking about making that same decision. They understand that a commitment to their future is a reason to make some noise!


What motivates you to do your job well?

Meeting different people, getting to know the different stories, and feeling like I can be one little chapter of helping them, is amazing. I’m not driven by anything but seeing people become successful and role models, themselves, to others. I just feel that I’m in the right seat on the bus to make a difference for them.

Not everyone who comes through our door will be an SJVC student, and that’s OK. But to hear them ring that bell, see them in the classroom then months or years later when I go to the doctor, dentist, or business and one of the staff there is one of our former students; it’s very rewarding to see their success. And they remember my name – that is a good feeling.


What makes you good at your job?

I love to talk to people and never meet a stranger. I am positive and passionate about what I do and what we do here. I try to bring a sense of energy that people might be drawn to.

I feel a lot of professional pride and have earned several awards and recognition over the years for Highest Enrollment, Student Retention, Professional Development, and other student support and service honors.


What are your most fulfilling moments?

I don’t pat myself on the back very often but when I did the best I could and someone leaves here with a new vision of themselves and their career direction, I feel like I was an important part of that. And just paying attention, listening to them – maybe giving them something they don’t get at home – helped them discover what they needed to do this.

I make sure they know, ‘I’m going to help you get through this’. That is somebody’s kid, somebody’s mom, brother. I’d want someone to treat my loved one that way.


How do you help students when they struggle?

I remind them why they’re here. Why they picked up that phone that changed their lives. Things in life can overpower us and we need to be brought back to why we’re here and who we’re doing this for.


What is your favorite moment in your position?

Graduation is huge. It’s finally real for them. They’ve made the sacrifices; and to see the confidence, the smiles on their faces, for them to realize they’ve done it – it’s amazing.

Sometimes they come into my office and say ‘thank you’ for being that positive person, their cheerleader, with them every step of the way. Their gratitude for helping them get in school and realizing they could do it; it’s now real for them.  And it’s fulfilling for me.

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