2: Concordia University, Texas – Transitioning to a New Enrollment Role w/ Jennielle Strother

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Jennielle Strother, Chief Enrollment Officer at Concordia University, Texas and co-founder of #EMchat discusses how to transition into a new enrollment leadership role and what your first 30 days should look like at a new institution.

Find a breakdown of this episode here.

Attracting today's new post traditional learners meansadopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprise wide approach to enrollmentgrowth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape, andHelix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percentbrand new content on how institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges.Downloaded today for free at Helix Educationcom. Slash playbook. You're listening to enrollmentgrowth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher education leaderslooking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for freshenrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the rightplace. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university.I'Mericleson, AVP of marketing at Helix Education,...

...and we're here today with Jennie lstrather, chief enrollment officer at Concordia University Texas. Jenelle, thanks somuch for joining us today. Thanks for having me. Many of you mayalso know Genel as the CO founder of em chat a weekly twitter chet whereparticipants discuss issues and strategies regarding enrollment management admissions leadership. She's a wonderful thoughtleader and I'm honored to call her a friend as well. Just this yearJennel joined can courtia university Texas as chief enrollment officer and we're going to havea great discussions today about how to transition successfully to a new enrollment leadership role. But before we get too deep into that, Jeneale, can you givethe listeners a little bit better understanding of both Concordia University Texas and your role? They're sure, and thanks for all of those nice comments. It's beenit's so great to connect with you any time, but especially like this andtalking about a topic that we'd love like. Yeah, I so Cancordia University Texashas in Austin Texas, where Liberal...

Arts University in West Austin. WeAre Lutheran University and we have enrollments about twenty five hundred students and I've beenhere since so about five and a half months, but I was here tenyears ago. So I have a very unique experience of being a place andthen coming back after about a decade and as far as I'm you know aboutme, I've been in higher at my entire adult life. Started off itas a collegiate volleyball coach and when I was ready to hang up my whistle, I transitioned into enrollment management. Haven't looked back since. I love itand have been at you a different institutions over the years, but am happyto call Concordia University Texas home. Awesome. I do think your perspective is somewhatunique in terms of returning to a former institution, but also fairly commonin our world as well. So I think it's going to be super helpfuland any unique perspective for our listeners. Let's talk about that transition to anew enrollment role, especially a leadership one.

What were your first thirty days like? What were your top priorities going into them, and any lessons youlearned that you'd want to do differently next time? Sure, yeah, soI reflected a lot about, you know, how to come back to a placewhere there were many people that were that I knew back, you know, ten years ago, that are still working here and you know, whileI kept up relationships, but not on a daytoday basis, like when you, you know, started a job. So I reflected on that. Howdo you come back after, you know, so many, so many years,reconnecting with folks, but also just really what I wanted to do differently, because I've on boarded at different places at different times, and so themain thing was one is listening. I mean, you hear that a lot, but that's it's really hard to do when you have a short amount oftime to make an impact, especially when it comes to enrollment, because youwant to do and get things done and the way that you would want them. But I highly encourage listening and going on a, you know, quoteunquote, listening tour and just listening to...

...people and their thoughts about enrollment inthe university and the direction of the institution. But then reflecting on coming back toa place where I knew people before, is trying not to walk in withassumptions from ten years ago and really approaching the position with new eyes.And while the relationships were great, one of the things that I found wasthat I walked in thinking I knew a lot about the institution and but thatI really didn't. And then, but also on the flip side, Iwalked in not thinking I knew some things that I really did know, andso I would just say be patient and but also be kind yourself, becauseyou're trying to do a lot in a short amount of time. That's awesome. I love the listening to our idea. I think in some other industries there'sa little bit more of a time cushion to take a kind of dono harm philosophy while learning the ropes. For All our listeners. We knowthat in the enrollment game you don't always...

...have that luxury. You have tostart moving quick you got to hit, you know, the next terms numbers. Well, what did that balance look like for you between learning fast andmaking swift decisions? Well, I'll tell you that. You know. Theother thing is, when you started a place, this is this is aphenomenon that typically people, some folks, will come to you and ask youyour opinion on something because they want to see a change, a quick changethat may not have happened before you got here. Sometimes you learn in thehard way. You make that quick decision and you realize three months down theroad, oh, should have you know, just slowed down right. And soI think you have to really part of it's just in our genes asenrollment managers is we're doers and we have to go and we get out thereand make things happen. And so for me, and is being is havingto coach myself and say, yes, I know they want, they wantmore for me. They want to see...

...a change immediately, but it's notgoing to be smart if I if I make that change quickly without thinking andknowing all of the impact that it will make institution wide. And so itwas really coaching myself and slowing down and making sure that I'm being thoughtful andbringing the right people to the table. Sometimes that's the hardest part, isnot even knowing in the organization who are the people who need to be atthe people when you're new. So love it, love it. You havea really strong track record as an enrollment leader. You likely came into thisrole with a clear, genel vision for for what the future of the institutionwas going to look like. Talk to me a little bit about how doyou embrace the institutions internal vision for growth, their culture, while bringing your ownvision and ideas for how to get there? Well, my own personalexperience and it's you know what, I coach other folks who are in searchesfor new positions. Is I hope you're looking at that alignment before you actuallysign a contract or, or, you know, accept a new position,that you're looking at the institution's vision and...

...where they want to go in,you know, for the future, and whether or not allignes with your ownvision about enrollment and how I can best serve the institution but also my staff, and that it's all in an alignment. and honestly, the institutions where Ihave served, that's that was the main goal for me, was iswill my style and what I think works for, you know, a privatefaith based institution, and West Austin does that work. And so, ultimatelythat it happened before I got here. Incredibly helpful advice, Jenneale. Anythingelse that you want to make sure we covered before we close today, ormaybe, specifically, any next steps for listeners who are similarly new to arole or about to make that transition, and some tips on how to hitthe ground running effectively and thoughtfully. Yes, reach out to your friends and colleaguesfor help. I can't tell you...

I've engaged with conversations before the firstday I step foot on this campus and ask them what did you do whenyou prepared for a new position and when you got and then what was thereality and what would you have done differently? And so reach out to colleagues.I would say slow down and pick three priorities that you want to makeand those that first thirty days and then, you know, look at three monthsand then maybe six months after that. Pick out those priorities. But thenalso, I would say truly, truly, truly take time to think. Take time in your day. You are going to be meeting so manypeople and listening and you need time to reflect, think about what you've youknow what you've heard, and journal do something, because they those first thirtydays are pretty precious, because people are taking time to meet you and tellyou exactly what they think, and that's important stuff right. So those wouldbe the three things I would say.

And then, just for anybody outthere who's in the middle of a transition or looking to transition or about totransition, I'm here. I know Eric is open, but there's a tonof us out there that want to see you succeed and we're here to helpyou too. So just reach out. Danielle awesome advice. What is thebest place for listeners to connect with you if they have follow up questions orif they want to take you up on that offer. Sure so. Mysocial media, you know, of choice, account of choices, twitter. Soif you can reach me at my handle is em for enrollment management,em Gennye l Jeannie lllle and then or my email address, Jenny l dotstrathor at Concordia, dieed. You, please do reach out. I lovehave an enrollment friends awesome. Thanks so much for joining us today, Jennel, and all the best in your new role. Thank you so much.Eric. You've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. To ensurethat you never miss an episode, subscribe...

...to the show in Itunes or yourfavorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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