As a Peoria native, admissions counselor Lindsey Cheney has always had an interest in Bradley.
“I grew up in Peoria and have attended men’s basketball games since I was ten years old, and I would not sit down or shut up at the games,” Cheney said. “It’s a big family tradition of ours, and I always loved Bradley and wanted to work here.”
However, Bradley and becoming an admissions counselor was not the first thing on her mind. Now she will soon be celebrating the eleventh anniversary of her introduction to the Hilltop.
“I don’t think I was quite sure what I wanted to do when I finished college, but I knew I loved my college experience,” Cheney said. “I was an orientation leader and a tour guide at Ball State. Some of our supervisors had talked to me about going into student affairs. Something related to working with college-age students was always on my radar, but I actually started my career in the financial services industry at Morgan Stanley Smith-Barney.”
Cheney said she had been on her way to becoming a financial consultant, but it wasn’t the right fit for her. She really wanted to work with students and after Cheney graduated, she would periodically look at the Bradley website for openings.
When she interviewed in 2004, Cheney recalls the admissions office being a very tight-knit group and that she was eager to become part of the family.
“I felt at home immediately and just in my gut [I] knew this was going to be the right fit, whether or not I got that position,” Cheney said. “I don’t think anyone grows up and says, ‘When I grow up, I’m going to be an admissions counselor.’ It’s just something you fall into.”
As an admissions counselor, she often references her own college experiences in order to relate to students.
“It’s a lot of fun for me to help students find their best fit and to know that they have to choose a school for the right reasons that will suit them,” Cheney said.
Her favorite part of admissions is working with students through the whole process: before, during and after their time at Bradley. Cheney said she loves knowing they are having an amazing experience. She even has students that come back and talk to her about their college experience.
One challenge Cheney said she faces is when there are students who she feels are right for Bradley but cannot attend for some reason. She said it is difficult to see a student who will do well at Bradley but ends up choosing a different school for the wrong reasons.
However, she said that she has to let them go and trust their judgments.
“No doesn’t mean never,” Cheney said. “If they really want to be here, they will find a way to be here.”