With the enormous amount of information about the college admissions process and the growing sense of anxiety and stress among students and parents, the role of independent educational consultants (IECs) has become increasingly important. Our job is to know, and if we don’t know, to know where and how to find out. Those of us who offer college advising services have a responsibility to visit colleges and remain up-to-date on all the information associated with our industry so that we can knowledgeably guide our students and their parents, reducing their stress.

IECA provides continuing opportunities for professional development that set me and my team apart from the many other people who hold themselves out as college advisors. Professional development helps us work successfully with a wide variety of students, helping them find their best-fit college. Through my active involvement with IECA, I have learned so much about the many different facets of our field, improving my skills and helping me personalize the college search process for each client.

When I need input, the Member Network and IECA member directory give me the ability to reach out to colleagues across the country to augment my own experience. I also appreciate the trust I feel when I refer prospective clients to IECA members who have specialized areas of expertise.

When I first joined IECA as a Student member, I met IECs with decades of experience. I have learned so much from them on topics ranging from college tours to the business side of educational consulting. And I’m honored that now, because our field is one in which we are always learning, we continue to educate one another as peers.

I am frequently asked by prospective clients what makes me different from other IECs. I reply that my dedication to professional development is one of the most important ways that prospective clients can trust that my skills and knowledge are both current and sharp. I rely on IECA to give me that professional edge.

Evelyn Jermone-Alexander, MA, CEP, IECA (CA)