By Amanda Wallin
For this addition of “Counselor by Day” we’ll be hearing from Ayesha King, Admission Counselor at California Lutheran University and her involvement with the blog Weddingbee.
Amanda Wallin (AW): Ayesha, please tell us, what is your “other” field of interest?
Ayesha King (AK): When I was planning my wedding ceremonies – yes, two – I really got into blogging about the experience. I applied and was selected to blog for Weddingbee, where I am Mrs. Genie. Even though I have been married for four years and my wedding blogging is done, I kept up blogging on my own. I mostly blog about book reviews, and even though my blog is running more slowly these days, I’ve branched out into building online communities with my friends from Weddingbee and also, other fans of reading.
AW: How did you get involved in this field?
AK: I’ve always enjoyed writing. After getting engaged, I found Weddingbee, and was very intrigued. I had blogged previously, mostly for personal journaling. I had been doing one-off book reviews, but the wedding planning was a continued project so I was able to sustain enough content to apply for Weddingbee. To explain my blogging name, each writer gets to choose a moniker to protect your privacy. We all get pretty attached to the monikers we select, and most of us carry a charm of our moniker on our wedding day (myself included). As for reading, I’ve always been an avid reader. When I moved to a new area, I was feeling a little lonely, so I decided to connect up with other young women in the area who wanted to discuss books. I’ve found many friends this way, and hope I can pick up my book blogging more regularly. (You know, in between visits, college fairs, grad school, and reading season…piece of cake!)
AW: What is something we may not know about this field?
AK: With social media, and people looking for easily consumable content, blogging has actually become a lot harder. Not many people have time to sit down and read a full post on book reviews or a tutorial on a crafting project. Instagram has turned into a platform for “micro-blogging.” You can search the hashtag #bookstagram and find hundreds of book reviews. My photographic eye isn’t as strong as my literary one, so I’ll stick to writing, but if you find me while traveling or at WACAC, I’d be happy to chat about books with you for a while. It’s my favorite topic!
AW: What drew you to the field of higher education?
AK: I knew I was meant to work in education fairly early, in high school, actually. I started with the goal of becoming a history teacher or professor, and as so many of us, I found myself working in the admission office, and found myself a home that would allow me the opportunity to work in higher education with students right away. I wonder if I will return to my dream of teaching someday, but this dream of working in admissions has sustained me quite nicely for the past six years. I love what I do, and I feel so fulfilled at my institution.
AW: How does your experience in another field help you in your role within higher education?
AK: Writing is a skill that is applicable to everything. Being able to communicate well allows me several opportunities to think outside of what we usually see in brochures and pamphlets. Being an avid reader is also very helpful in my role. We sit and read files for hours. Gaining an understanding of each student who passes through my inbox makes me so excited to go to work and “meet” the students who are looking to go to college. I also love when I can connect with a student over something we’ve both read.
AW: Anything else you think we should/would want to know?
AK: Keep up your interests outside of this career. It’s exhausting sometimes, and being able to escape into my online world allows me to be a better admission counselor. I have a community that I can crowd source from. I get to meet them on the road and see a friendly face. And I can always escape into a good book, or even better yet, a conversation about one.
Thank you to Ayesha for sharing her experience with us!
P.S. If any of you out there have stories you want to share, please don’t hesitate to contact me!