After graduating from Goshen College in 2015, Caleb Longenecker took a position as an admissions counselor in the very office that accepted him as a student almost five years ago.People who know Longenecker can attest to his love for Goshen College—even as a student, he was recruiting students in a casual, offhand way by simply describing his experience here.
Despite being a natural at sharing his love of Goshen College, Longenecker did not immediately foresee his year after graduating in this position.
“Last spring I was presented with the opportunity to be an admissions counselor, and I have found it incredibly enriching and life-giving,” Longenecker said. “It has become obvious to me that God has called me to serve in this role right now and the near future. I have amazing colleagues and my work feels extremely meaningful, which at the end of the day gives me great joy. I can’t wait to see all the new students walking around campus next fall.”
Longenecker joins an admissions team that has experienced high turnover in recent years. He is joined by two other recent Goshen graduates, Jacob GunderKline and Rachel Smucker. This new team has been trying to up admissions for this next year, with Longenecker in charge of the Western region.
“We [at admissions] have an extremely collaborative workplace and creativity flows,” Longenecker said. “We are constantly reflecting, revising and critiquing our message and methods and aspire for efficiency, productivity and effectiveness. I applaud our team and the leadership that we have in place right now. We are moving in the right direction to grow Goshen.”
As a new member of the admissions team and a recent graduate, Longenecker is able to pull from his connections to students, professors and community members he established in his four years at Goshen and integrate them in his interactions with new and prospective students.
“One of my greatest loves is hosting people and making them feel comfortable,” Longenecker said. “I have also very much enjoyed the counseling aspect of the job, building relationships with my students and getting to know their passions and dreams for their futures and how we might work together to accomplish those here at GC and beyond.”
This vision for the students he meets focuses on how they would fit their “peace” into Goshen College. By being able to share a meaningful recent student experience, Longenecker hopes that his relationships with prospective students will deepen and help them grow the same affinity for the college.
While his student-perspective has been very helpful as Longenecker has shifted into this position, some aspects have had to develop. Longenecker admits that his position within the college has certainly adapted in ways he did not immediately foresee.
“I am realizing that what I lacked as a student was vision,” Longenecker said. “I have come to see more of the depth and complexity of what it takes to run a college and believe our administrators do an excellent job of having institutional vision. Being an employee has greatly affirmed my deep respect for our faculty who work tirelessly to serve their students in all aspects of their lives.”