PA expands college counseling program with new hire

New college counselor, Mr. Brian Estrada

This year, Providence Academy welcomes a new college counselor. Mr. Brian Estrada comes to us from Hanover, New Hampshire and brings with him nine years of admissions experience.

Born and raised in Texas, Mr. Estrada attended Texas Christian University after high school. As a baritone player, he planned on majoring in Music Performance but graduated a Political Science major.

“On my first day of classes as a TCU music major, I went to music theory and ear training and I had this gut feeling that ‘the other people in this room are much more passionate about music than me,’” he said.

Though disheartening, Mr. Estrada assures us that he played in the marching band all four years.

After his time at TCU, he attended Indiana University where he earned his Masters in Education and shortly after was hired in Nashville, Tennessee.

In Nashville, he worked for Vanderbilt University as an admissions counselor for 4 years starting in 2004. Shortly thereafter he moved to Hanover where he represented Dartmouth College for 5 years.

When asked why he decided to enter the world of college admissions Mr. Estrada said, “It seemed like the most interesting. The job of a college admissions representative is tied very closely to the goals of an institution.”

He was also attracted to the travel, application review, and public speaking necessary in the field.

As an admissions rep, Mr. Estrada read at least 15,00 essays. Though he can’t recall one essay as being the most memorable, he does remember a few that stood out as very funny, poignant, or confidential.

Though he does not carry the formula for creating the perfect admissions essay, Mr. Estrada is excited to begin working with Providence Academy students.

He first visited Providence in 2007. When at Vanderbilt he recruited from Minnesota and was invited by PA Director of Admissions, Mrs. Sarah Hogan, to speak at Junior College Night.

“As a Catholic admissions counselor, my first thought was, ‘How did I not know about this place?’… As an admissions counselor visiting a beautiful school with great students, I had very strong feelings for Providence even as I left for Dartmouth,” said Mr. Estrada.

Now settling down in Minnesota, Mr. Estrada has already begun working with students. This year he will meet with 25% of the seniors and 50% of the sophomores.

Both Mr. Estrada and Mrs. Walker are hopeful that the addition of another counselor will allow the expansion of the College Counseling program to freshman and sophomores as well.