Four Questions with Xavier McKinzie: De-Mystifying the College Search Process

Xavier McKinzie is the associate director of college counseling at Emma Willard School. Xavier joined Emma Willard in 2022 and most recently worked in admissions and recruiting for higher education at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. We asked Xavier four questions about his start at Emma.
#1 — What brought you to Emma Willard School?
I came to Emma Willard because it clearly places a strong emphasis on empowering students and seemed like a very fun and welcoming community — which it is! I was also looking to transition to a more student-facing role and to help them understand the college process like my college counselor did for me during my search.

#2 — What is a typical day-in-the-life at Emma like for you?
My day usually consists of meeting with students and answering questions about helping them complete their applications, researching colleges, and working with the College Counseling team to brainstorm ideas to help students and their families better understand the college process. 

#3 — What is one thing about College Counseling that would surprise people?
My job involves a lot of fun and joy! Most students I meet with see the college process as stressful and daunting at first — and understandably so. However, the further we move along in that process, the students begin to see the steps needed along the way and the calmer they become. Our students are choosing communities that will support them and help them belong!

#4 — What is your favorite space or place on Emma's campus?
Selfishly, my favorite space is my office (in Slocum Hall). There is not a lot of foot traffic in the academic suite and I'm out of the way so I'm usually playing music and won't disturb anyone — it also helps minimize my distractions. I have a lot of windows which allows for great views, but also a lot of sunlight which helps me foster a very big (and continually growing) plant collection.
    • Associate Director of College Counseling Xavier McKinzie

    • Xavier and his peers on the Adult Diversity Working Group

    • Xavier and his fiancée visiting his mom for Christmas

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Our Mission

Honoring its founder’s vision, Emma Willard School proudly fosters in each young woman a love of learning, the habits of an intellectual life, and the character, moral strength, and qualities of leadership to serve and shape her world.
285 Pawling Avenue, Troy, NY 12180 | P: 518.833.1300 F: 518.833.1815

Welcome to Emma Willard School, a private day and boarding high school for girls in Troy, NY, and a leader in girls' education for over 200 years. 

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