My name is Andrew Johnson and I am an Admissions Counselor for UNC Asheville.I graduated from UNC Asheville in December of 2010 with a degree in Music: General Performance and a Minor in Business/Marketing.
I started at UNC Asheville with the intention of earning a degree in Psychology and then go to graduate school for something related because I figured I had to. I knew music would be part of my education, but when I dropped Psychology, I officially added Music. The old adage of “Do what you love” was the driving force behind my continuation of music with no other major track in mind; however, three semesters later “Bringing home the bacon” started to creep its way in. So then began my declaration of a marketing minor.
As an Admissions Counselor, I frequently speak with parents who ask “What jobs are your alumni getting?” or “How many people are employed after they graduate with their degree?” I assure them that while I may be an Admissions Counselor, I still very much use my music degree. Furthermore, I also insist that even my marketing minor plays a big role in my current job. Marketing is a huge component of the Admissions process, so much that we borrow help from several departments on campus to help.
My marketing education included an internship at a local WNC summer and retreat camp. My responsibility was to start an actual marketing strategy from scratch. I had to figure out what was important to say and show, how to present it, and who to present it to. As one can imagine, that is an important part of the Admissions recruitment process. In my international marketing course, one of my projects was to create a marketing plan to introduce an established candle product to Brazil. In Admissions, we are constantly seeing where we can expand in recruitment, and much like my project, I am looking at putting an established product in a new area, this time California and western Florida.
Unfortunately, I am not able to put as much of my musical education into practice as an Admissions counselor as I would like! Be that as it may, I still find plenty of opportunities to make music. I have been involved with UNC Asheville Game Band since my sophomore year, and am now currently acting as the “Assistant Director”. I love UNC Asheville basketball, and I love being able to support them by playing in the game band as well as arranging new songs for the band to play. I also perform with the Blue Ridge Orchestra which is a semi-professional orchestra for Western North Carolina.
I have been recorded on two records with my band on piano and mandolin, and several other tracks for friend’s bands for trombone and mandolin. I do not want to say I will not consider music as a career because I cannot deny my future of something that I love to do! With that, I am continuing my education in graduate school at Western Carolina University with a Masters in College Student Personnel. My time working in higher education has pushed me to strongly considering it as a true career path, and hopefully my music background will be able to work hand in hand with it.
Another question I am asked a lot, typically by parents, is “What is one thing you wish were/you did different at UNC Asheville.” As cliché as it sounds, I always answer with nothing. Of course there are some small things that I wish I did differently like maybe when an intramural sport rather than play 5 years with nothing to show for it. Overall though, everything I did put me where I am now. I have a job I love, recruiting for and admitting the best students for UNC Asheville. I am active in the community making and arranging music. It’s easy to enjoy your job when you love where you work, and your college years were raised in a nationally recognized awesome city!