Emily Freeman '18

Emily FreemanMajor: Business Management
Hometown: Miami, FL

Describe your current job role:

I am an Admissions Counselor for Palm Beach Atlantic University. I have the privilege of welcoming students to the PBA family and helping them throughout the entire admission process. During the fall semester, I travel throughout the country going to college fairs and high schools to share about PBA. In addition to travel season, I get to help students throughout the entire admission process once they have started an application. I meet with students in person, update them on their application status via email/phone call, accept students, assist them with financial aid, and walk them through various steps that are a part of the journey before arriving to campus at PBA. I get to share about how amazing PBA is to help the students find their fit, see what programs they may be interested in, what activities/services are available at PBA, and help families throughout the journey to college in any way that I can by answering their questions and talking with them.

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

Prior to my role in Admissions, I held various student leadership opportunities and four different internships throughout my time at PBA. On campus, during my Freshman and Sophomore year, I was a Workship Leader. Then, during my Junior year I was a Discipleship Assistant for Oceanview Hall. Finally, during my Senior year, I was a Peer Mentor and worked in the Admissions Office. In addition to the on campus opportunities, I also gained professional experience through internships. I was a Marketing Intern for Telesto Group, a Business Intern for Place of Hope, a Business Administration Intern for First Presbyterian Church of North Palm Beach, and an Intern for the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce.

What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

This is something that I’m still learning…It is okay (and actually good) to show yourself grace. There will be days where you feel like you’re doing a great job, but there will also be days where you feel like you would do a million things differently the next time. Both types of days are important and good. There is always room for improvement and you can’t expect to be perfect – especially not when you are just starting out at your first job in the professional world. It’s important to show yourself grace, so that when you do stumble or make an error, you can keep moving forward knowing what you learned and making necessary improvements for next time. It’s okay to not be perfect – don’t be too hard on yourself – just continue learning and growing!

"There will be days where you feel like you're doing a great job, but there will also be days where you feel like you would do a million things differently..."

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

PBA prepared me in so many ways and I’m so thankful for my time at PBA! I really saw my time in college as a transitionary period between high school and the professional world. Everything from the classes to time management skills to college life in general equipped me for the professional world. On the one hand, I recall things that I learned in my business classes on a daily basis while on the job. There have been multiple occasions where I see what I learned in class applied in real life! PBA also taught me a lot about professionalism. I learned how to carry myself in a way that is professional via email, phone, or in person. I remember when I first started in Workship during my Freshman year and I was petrified to make phone calls to non-profits, but now I make phone calls constantly in my job. PBA gave me so many opportunities for public speaking and interpersonal communication – both through class presentations and other interactions, such as meeting with students as Discipleship Assistant of Oceanview. This prepared me for group presentations/college fairs and one-on-one visits with students and guidance counselors. PBA and my time in college also taught me a lot about prioritizing/time management. In college, I had to prioritize what was important to get accomplished each day – focusing on what was important, over just what was urgent. I have to apply the same thing in the professional world. I could go on and on about what I learned at PBA and how it prepared me for post-graduation, but that’s one of the reasons why I love my job! That’s what I get to talk to prospective students and families about every single day!

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

My main advice to current PBA students, especially those nearing graduation, would be to listen more to where God is calling you, than what other people are telling you to do. I didn’t expect so many people to have an opinion about my post-graduate life as I neared graduation, but they did. I would let every single person give an opinion about where I should go/what I should do when I graduated: professors, family, friends, and people I barely knew. Some people really encouraged me in the route I was heading, but others, unintentionally, made me doubt myself. I definitely think it is important to seek wise counsel when making decisions, like post-grad employment. However, I think it is even more important to listen to God, see how He has made you, see what you enjoy doing, see what you’re good at, and hear what the people who know you VERY well are saying. Someone else’s plan for your life may not be God’s plan for your life, but God’s plan will be the perfect one for you. Trust God because He’ll show you what to do and make it fall into place in His perfect timing.

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? If so, what impact has that had on you?

Yes, I have been! Kate Magro, the Assistant Dean of Students at PBA, has been an incredible mentor to me in my personal and professional life since my time as a Workship Leader at PBA. She has helped me navigate so many things and is someone that I really trust as a soundboard in my life. She is lovingly honest with me and is always willing to encourage me, but also call me out on areas of growth when necessary. Additionally, during my Senior year at PBA, I participated in the business mentor program. My mentor, Mary Anna Mancuso Rykwalder, was my mentor during a huge time of adjustment in my life and has continued to mentor me as I begin my professional journey. Both of these women have been such an amazing support system to me and have encouraged/challenged me as I transitioned into the professional world. I also have gained mentors in my supervisors and coworkers in Admissions. It has been so valuable for me to be in such a supportive work environment. I’m very thankful for my family in Admissions who strive to help me grow and encourage me in my role and career each day.