Member Spotlight Todd Johnson

Member Spotlight 

 

Todd Johnson
College Counselor
Colegio Americano de Quito


What drew you to the world of international admissions? 

I sort of fell into the position. I had already been a teacher at Colegio Americano for six years teaching IB English. My good friend, Ray Marx, told me that a position was opening in college counseling working with him. To be honest, after teaching for six years I was looking for a change and this seemed like an incredible opportunity. I applied and got the job and have never looked back! It has been truly rewarding working with students and helping them find a good fit for their interests and personality. And of course, working alongside Ray and having him as a mentor has been wonderful.

 What is your favorite part of the job? 

Helping students successfully navigate the scholarship & financial aid process and sharing the joy with them when they get accepted to universities. Another amazing part of the job has been the ability to travel the world attending conferences and visiting universities, and of course, meeting wonderful colleagues.

How has Intl ACAC played a role in your career? 

International ACAC has played an enormous role in my career. My first conference was at Chapman University back in 2009, and I have never missed a conference since. When I attended my first conference, I knew very little about the profession, and I was amazed by how helpful colleagues were to answer the questions I had. I still feel that International ACAC is the best conference I attend all year due to the informative sessions, professional development, and great networking opportunities.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today? 

Well, my answer would have been different for this question a month ago. But now, the biggest challenge I see currently seems to be how the Coronavirus will impact college admissions. For example, I just read today that the College Board has canceled its May SAT. Our students in Ecuador already had the March SAT cancelled. With already very limited testing dates available for international students, this will definitely have a negative impact on international students. It's hard to know how all of this will play out, but needless to say, it's a stressful time for high school students applying to universities.

When you aren't working, what do you like to do? 

I never have a hard time finding things to do when I'm not working. I love the outdoors: so hiking, running, biking, and playing basketball with my two boys (ages 12 & 14) keeps me busy. I also enjoy gardening, reading, and I have recently gotten into cooking which has been fun.

Describe yourself in five words: 

Easygoing, adventurous, thoughtful, introverted & extroverted (when I have to be)

What place is on your travel bucket list? 

Australia

What is your favorite food? 

Mexican

What are your must haves for your suitcase? 

Running shoes & a good book

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