Q & A with Amanda Hotinger with Neelam Savla interviewing on behalf of WACAC
Over the next few months, we hope you have the opportunity to meet the dedicated professionals who make up WACAC through out WACAC Member Spotlight Series. This week we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Hotinger, Assistant Director of Admissions, University of Idaho.
WACAC: How have your professional experiences led you to your current regional position at the University of Idaho?
Amanda Hotinger (AH): I stumbled upon the opportunity to be a regional purely by accident. I was hired at a time when our office was a little short staffed and needed extra help. California was my territory, and while the University of Idaho had a California regional previously, I was based in Idaho. It was my supervisor at the time who believed that I would make a great regional and she was an advocate for having me, and my position, relocated. Her faith in me made all the difference and I would have never thought this would be an opportunity without her support.
WACAC: What was the transition to your regional position like? Was it what you expected?
AH: I treated changing states, adjusting the way I worked, meeting new friends, and exploring new communities as an exciting adventure, that attitude made transitioning to a regional fun. When I moved to California I decided that I didn’t want to live alone. At the time, another regional was looking for a roommate and I jumped on that opportunity. I did not know what to expect but my roommate helped me with the adjustment and shape my expectations about the role as a regional admissions counselor. My roommate’s guidance made the experience easier especially as I transition to working from a home office, which was the most difficult adjustment for me.
WACAC: What do you enjoy most about being a regional admission counselor?
AH: Wearing Leggings on office days! Just kidding, that is a nice perk but it is not my favorite thing. I enjoy how I can be more involved in my territory. When I was traveling from Idaho I did not have the opportunity to connect with my territory in the same way. As a regional I can be involved and volunteer my time. One of my favorite things to do is to give general presentations about going out of state or the Western Undergraduate Exchange at college nights. I could not do that as easily traveling back and forth from Idaho.
WACAC: What role has WACAC played in your professional life?
AH: WACAC has been an amazing organization to get involved with. Not only did WACAC provide me with a way to get involved, but it has allowed me to get outside of my comfort zone and grow as a professional. WACAC has also allowed me to gain a network of admissions professionals on both sides of the desk. As a regional, without an office, having that network of professionals makes me feel less secluded and more connected.
WACAC: What advice do you have for higher education professionals about maintaining balance between your personal and professional life?
AH: Honestly, I am still working on this myself. For me, it is important to make sure that I take the time for the people I care about in my life. Whether that is scheduling my office days around my loved ones schedules, or turning off my work email on my phone during my off time, it is about prioritizing the time I have for the people I care about. It is still a work in progress, and there are nights when I pull out my laptop while I am watching TV because it was right in front of me, but making a conscious effort for those special people in my life helps me balance my personal and professional time.
WACAC: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
AH: I having been skiing since I was small child and it is one of my favorite weekend activities. I am an extremely uncoordinated person, but when I am on a pair of skis I feel elegant and graceful. Since my first ski season in California was a dry year, I actually went back to Idaho for a few ski vacations, but this year I have been enjoying all the great snow that the Sierra resorts got thanks to El Nino. It has been an amazing season.