Gatepost Interview: Nicole Mason – Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions

What is your educational and professional background?

I have a bachelor of arts in communications from Bridgewater State University, and I’m currently taking some master’s courses here to work toward my master’s in human resource management. Workwise, I’ve been in this position for five years – just about five years. I actually started in admissions at Bridgewater as well. They brought me on as kind of like a contractor, temp worker for admissions and just basically going to admissions events, and reviewing applications, and then that kind of got me into admissions, and then I just started applying to other positions, and I got hired here.

How has Framingham State changed in those five years?

I think a lot. So, right when I was starting, the construction was just kind of wrapping up on the science building. It was kind of still a big mess over there, so it’s great to see that all completed,  brand new, and beautiful for our students. Then, of course, West Hall was built in that time frame as well. That was really cool to see the campus without that [West Hall] and then with that. A big change was the offices of O’Connor being created once West opened which was kind of nice. Personally, I started at Framingham as an admissions counselor, which is an entry level position in this office, and now, I’m an assistant director of admission. I was promoted a couple of years ago and I took on a whole new kind of role and duties as a staff member here.

Can you describe what you do as an assistant director of admission?

I’m actually in charge of transfer admission here in the office, so I no longer review first-year files of those students coming out of high school. I am the main point of contact and the only staff member right now who reviews our transfer students, so that includes students coming from the community colleges, students transferring from other four-year schools, and then our veteran students. So, if a student is in the military, or has served in the past, they are considered a transfer student whether they’ve attended college or not, so I work with those students as well coming in.

Does Framingham State admit a lot of transfers every year?

Yes we do. We work with close to 400-500 transfer students between the fall and the spring semesters. That’s on average about how many transfers we bring in per year.

Do you have any hobbies or interests?

I love to bake. I love watching all baking-related shows, such as “The Great British Baking Show” – it’s a personal favorite. I have a great little cat at home that I love to play with and I’m currently planning my wedding for next year, so that has quickly become a big focus because it takes up so much time.

Are there any programs you’re involved with on campus?

Part of my role is also supervising our tour guides, our student admissions representatives, so I don’t think that’s a program per se. It could be – it is a student job on campus, so if anyone wants to apply, we’re currently hiring through common leadership, but that’s another part of my role.

Do you find that a lot of transfer students go on these tours?

I’d say the number is definitely less than the number of first-year students who come on the tour, because the first-year students are going through that traditional college search. They’re getting help from their guidance office at their high schools. They’re going through the process in more of a traditional sense. Whereas the transfers, some may come to tour, I hear a lot of transfer students tell me, “Oh yeah, I was here a few years ago visiting a friend. I don’t need a tour. Like, I’ve seen it.” Transfer students have already gone through that more traditional approach to the application process and the enrollment, so no, I would say that not as many transfers come on a traditional campus tour. As another option, though, I host transfer-decision days, so like later today, I have about five or six students who I have one-on-one appointments scheduled with where I’ll sit down, go over their application, and then if I’m able to, render their admissions decision on the spot. We don’t do that for first-year students, so instead of a tour, it’s a different approach to just come in, meet with me, go over the whole process, and you know, they can also do a self-guided tour if they wish.

Do you have any advice for future Rams?

Definitely have an open mind and be proactive. We love students who are proactive in the process and are on top of getting their materials sent in. If they have questions, they’re calling and asking. There’s no question that’s too small to ask. … We really like students who are excited about the process, want to get to know us, and are proactive in things that need to get completed.

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