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From Drexel to Dickinson: Ashley Trump's Journey in International Admissions

Ashley TrumpAssistant Director of International Admissions at Dickinson College

May 22, 2024

Ashley Trump graduated from Drexel’s MS Education Improvement and Transformation Program in 2023, and worked at Drexel during this process. Her time both working and learning at Drexel has greatly aided in her accomplishes since then, especially in her position as Assistant Director of International Admissions at Dickinson College.

What would you say are some of your favorite things in your current occupation?
I am fortunate enough to get to travel the world and work with passionate students wanting to explore their academic career in the United States.  

Throughout your time in college, what led you to choose the career you are in now?
I was actually already working in international higher education throughout my Master’s program and before.  

What made you choose Drexel?
I was lucky enough to work at Drexel for almost four years and earned my Master's during that time.  

How did the coursework you experienced at Drexel impact where you are now?
Selecting the MS in Education Improvement and Transformation allowed me to take courses in a wide range of educational topics giving me the flexibility to apply knowledge to different veins of the international higher education field.  I previously worked in study abroad and recently pivoted to international admissions.  Having knowledge of the neuroscience of learning and how the brain works, for example, was something I can take into any educational sphere and apply every day when supporting students. 

How were the professors/mentors that you worked with during your time in the School of Education significant in aiding your transition from college to your career?
I was working before, during, and after my graduate program so my transition was quite smooth.  I had wonderful professors!  Even though most of my program was asynchronous and online, I still felt like I had plenty of access to professors and classmates.  They were always willing to set up times to meet and discuss coursework.  I also found them wonderful at suggesting new readings or sending conferences or webinars my way that they thought would interest me.  I think this helped show me the type of educator I want to be as I moved forward in my career.  

How did your time in Drexel’s SoE prepare you for where you are now?
Working with prospective college students now, I believe having the experience of having an MS and having gone through both undergraduate and graduate education better aids me in supporting those students in their experience.  I can now better speak to what both experiences are like, what subjects might be more helpful to dive into in graduate school over undergraduate work, and what options for graduate school are out there.  Additionally, as mentioned above, having knowledge of how the brain acquires new knowledge has certainly helped me in approaching my advising so I can better help students grasp the new information that is coming at them (particularly in the admissions world where they are receiving a lot of information at once from so many different sources).  Having studied creativity from different academic angles, I am better able to help students see their potential.  And lastly, having studied global and international education, I have a better sense of the K-12 systems my students may be coming from to better advise them how to prepare for schooling in the US.  

What would you say has been your greatest achievement since entering the working world? How did the School of Education prepare you for this?
I think seeing students I have worked with, whether that be in study abroad or international admissions, come back to me during or after their international educational experience and tell me how my support has impacted them positively has been my greatest achievement.  Drexel provided me with the education to not only learn how to professionally support these students, but how to manage my time (through working full time and going back to school) personally to be in the best space to support these students.  I think also seeing what kinds of research and opportunities are out there in different fields by learning about the research my classmates and professors were doing allowed me to better advise students in the international admissions world as to what is possible in undergraduate education and beyond! 

What advice do you have for others who are just starting their educational journey in your field?
Don't be nervous if there has been a gap between your undergraduate years and your graduate experience!  The academic support is there at Drexel, and I felt that academic writing and studying came back quickly- kind of like riding a bike!  Find a study/writing/research rhythm that works for you and your schedule.  It might feel overwhelming and weird at first, but you will get an educational groove back even after a gap! 

Ashley Trump, MS ‘23
MS Education Improvement and Transformation
Assistant Director of International Admissions at Dickinson College