Since she was a senior in college, Sierra Kinslow knew that she wanted to work in admissions in a higher education setting. After graduating, she started her career as an admissions counselor with Messiah University’s School of Graduate Studies. “One of the programs I recruited for was higher education, so I was getting a deeper dive into the world of admissions as well as Messiah’s higher education program,” explained Sierra, joking that “as much as I was ‘selling’ the program to prospective students, I was selling it to myself as well!” In 2020, she earned her Master of Arts in higher education.
Sierra was looking for a program that offered individualized attention, excellent and accessible faculty and faith integration, but flexibility was also key. “While working full time and being in school, I also fostered a newborn baby for eight months during this period of time,” she said. “I literally would not have been able to complete this degree without the flexibility of online learning and a lot of self-paced projects and assignments.” Despite the online format, the classes still gave her opportunities to connect with other students.
Connecting with faculty was also important to her. In fact, Sierra said that each faculty member became a mentor. Someone that you could go not only go to with questions about the class, but could also ask for career advice, prayer or just share ideas with.
Since earning her master’s degree, Sierra has been promoted to assistant director of admissions for undergraduate programs at Messiah. This promotion came with both a pay raise and more responsibilities.