Meet the Author: Marc Vallone
You might feel like Alice heading down the rabbit hole and into Wonderland, with words and phrases you don't recognize, documents you haven't seen before, and acronyms that appear scary (SAT! ACT!). Alternatively, you might feel like Captain Nemo. Through preparation and reading, you might feel like a seasoned pro, ready to roam the college ocean with whatever version of your Nautilus. Mine was a white 1988 Honda Civic named "General Montgomery." It was also my traveling library, as the hatchback held about 10 different books at any point in time.
Wherever you fall in this spectrum of a literary analogy, one thing we are called to do as admissions counselors is to simplify and assist through the enrollment process. Whether a student is just beginning their college search or discerning their last two options before the May 1 deadline, we are here from beginning to end. (Actually, it really isn't the end when you enroll in a school. It is merely your beginning!)
So, who am I, and how did I get here? Well, at Drexel University, I am the Associate Director of International Admissions. How I got here is a longer tale, which involves me studying something I wasn't passionate about and then pivoting into education. It includes living abroad for two years (Ecuador and Brazil), working with thousands of students, and learning from several great mentors.
I worked for about five years in a high school, and during that time I noticed how important it was to have a support system through the college application process. I found students were getting gray hairs before me, which really is not how it is supposed to go…so I committed myself to work on the other side of the high school diploma. My opportunity came in working as a teacher through the Fulbright Program. There I was living in Natal, in Rio Grande do Norte, in the northeast of the country, working at the federal university. Since then, I have worked with students from hundreds of countries to assist with the college discernment process. Truly, it is a process. Finding the best-fit school for you may seem daunting, but it is critical for your happiness. I hope that my future contributions to this blog will help you along with that.
It won't all be university/academic stuff either, I promise! I hope to also shed some light living in my favorite city in the world, Philadelphia. I will also share what I am experiencing, reading, and seeing when I am out on the road because, while I like to think Philadelphia has it all, it is still better to talk about other things too.