Graduate Staff Spotlight | Vanessa Solis
"Never give up! Sometimes the mountain you are climbing can obscure the view you’re about to enjoy. We all have doubts about whether or not to pursue a graduate education, but we need to understand that it will benefit our future."
Vanessa Solis, Assistant Director of Graduate Admission
Vanessa Solis is an Assistant Director of Graduate Admission in the Graduate School at Hood College. She is originally from Ecuador and completed her Masters of Music in Violin Performance at the Shenandoah University. She is the graduate program liaison for the STEM/computing and MBA programs, as well as for diversity & inclusion initiatives.
Could you please tell us a bit more about your professional and educational background?
I am originally from Ecuador, where I got my bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from Universidad Espiritu Santo in Guayaquil.
I worked as an admissions counselor for Manor College in Philadelphia and was the main point of contact for many students, especially international and Spanish-speaking students. As an international student, I understood how difficult it can be to adjust to a new environment, new classes, and get a job. I was fortunate enough to be able to assist the international students with all those processes, from recruitment to adjustment to their new environment.
I recently completed my Masters of Music in Violin Performance at Shenandoah University. I was also given a great opportunity to work as a graduate assistant and the manager of the Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra.
How did you end up at Hood and what do you like the most about the College?
When I graduated in 2019, I decided to move to Frederick. MD. I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to work for a higher education institution, such as Hood College, so I decided to apply for this position, which aligned with my career vision.
The interview happened right about the time when the pandemic shut down the country, but it was still a very positive experience. I met the graduate team online, and we clicked right away. Our team is definitely one of the things that I love and appreciate most at Hood. They are extremely supportive, and we all work so well together. Hood College is a wonderful place to work, as everyone welcomes you as part of the #HoodFamily.
Please share a bit more about your current role at the Graduate School?
I am an Assistant Director of Graduate Admission and the point of contact for graduate initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion.
I am also the admission liaison for all STEM and business programs, including: Biomedical Science, Bioinformatics, Environmental Biology, Geographic Information Systems Certificate, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Management Information Systems, Information Technology, Business Administration, Accounting Certificate, Finance Certificate, Organizational Management Certificate & the Project Management Certificate.
My role also involves supporting our international graduate applicants through the application process and general visa-related matters.
What is the favorite part of your job so far?
I love the interaction with the international graduate students. Helping them successfully transition to the U.S. educational system and becoming successful at Hood College is one of the highlights of my job. I love being a bridge for international graduate applicants - a person who can answer their questions and help them grow and succeed at Hood College.
What message would you like to send to graduate international students thinking of enrolling in our Graduate School?
The message I give to our international graduate students is: Never give up! Sometimes the mountain you are climbing can obscure the view you’re about to enjoy. We all have doubts about whether or not to pursue a graduate education, but we need to understand that it will benefit our future.