Herzing College Senior Admissions Advisor, Alex Wells at his home office in Ottawa
Alex Wells has been working in college admissions for over 20 years. A Psychology major with decades of experience in student advising, Alex knows exactly how to help people choose the right diploma program.
Very often, he meets with students who are interested in business training. His job is to figure out if business is the right choice, based on the individual’s career goals, natural talents, and overall personality.
Alex takes the time to really get to know each candidate. This process is key, because the student’s time, money, and future are riding on this decision.
Alex says it’s not about pushing people to enrol. It’s about guiding students toward a program and career they will be great at and truly enjoy.
So, how do you know if a business diploma is right for you?
This week, we interviewed Alex Wells to get some answers. He explained how the admissions process works at Herzing, and how he helps people decide if business is their ideal career path.
Thank-you Alex, for sharing your insights and expert advice!
Q: Alex, can you tell us about yourself, and how you became a Senior Admissions Advisor at Herzing College?
Alex: I’ve been in the student advising industry for 22 years. I’ve worked with Herzing for the past 8 years, and currently hold the position of Senior Admissions Advisor at the Herzing College Ottawa campus.
I started with an Honours degree in Psychology from Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland.
After graduation, I worked at a private college in the admissions department, helping high school seniors choose training programs and career paths.
Over the years, I‘ve learned so much about people and personalities. I use this knowledge every day to help Herzing students find the diploma programs that best suit their talents and goals.
On a deeper level, my psychology background helps me build on people’s dreams. My goal is to help students succeed in life and make their dreams a reality. Education is always the first and most important step in that process.
The best job is a job you love, right? I help people determine what that job is for them, and how to make it happen.
Q: Are business programs very popular at Herzing College?
Alex: Yes, absolutely. Business is one of the most popular study areas. This is primarily because there are jobs in this field, and people know that.
Also, our business programs prepare people for so many different jobs, from business management to marketing to accounting to administration.
Students love having options, and they appreciate the wide skillset they learn in our business programs.
Q: Herzing offers 4 different business diploma programs. Which is the most popular?
Alex: Business Management is the most popular, because it encompasses so many training areas and potential job options.
With this diploma, students can work in administration, accounting, marketing, office management, and more.
You learn how businesses are run, how to become a useful part of a team, and also how to lead a team.
Q: What if someone isn’t sure which business program to choose? How do you help them decide?
Alex: I ask them a series of questions to better understand their natural strengths, interests and personality.
For example, are you good at math? Do you like working with fractions and percentages? Do you prefer to work alone in a quiet space, or do you love being with a team and collaborating on projects?
Do you see yourself at a big multinational company or a small local business? How much do you enjoy supervising other people? Do you really like to challenge and push yourself?
My goal is to find out what they’re naturally good at and interested in, and how that “profile” fits with our business training options.
I want our students to enjoy the training process—but also the job and career path that follows.
Q: In general, what qualities do you look for in Business applicants?
Alex: There are certain key skills and characteristics you need to be successful in an office. For example, the ability to take initiative.
In business, you must be proactive, see what needs to be done, and find ways to make it happen. You can’t always wait to be told what to do.
Communication skills are also crucial. You need to be able to connect with all different types of people. This will come with experience, but we look for students who have the desire to connect, the desire to work in a team, and who have good interpersonal skills.
In general, skills like communication, organization, maturity, problem-solving, and adaptability are very important for business students.
Q: What are the top 3 questions students ask about Business training at Herzing?
Alex: The most common questions I get from people interested in Business training are:
2. Will Herzing arrange the internship for me, or do I have to set that up by myself?
3. Who hires Herzing business grads? Can you give examples of employers?
The great thing about Herzing College is that we’re well respected in the Ottawa business community. That means we can guarantee the internship and arrange it for you (not all colleges do can that).
Employers trust our business programs and regularly hire our graduates. The combination of excellent classroom training and the internship give our students a big competitive edge.
Q: What are the top career goals for business students at Herzing?
Alex: Everybody wants to work with the government here in Ottawa! That's the ultimate job for those who want stability, good benefits, and competitive pay.
Some of our business graduates do get hired in government—but remember that being bilingual (having decent French and English skills) is often a requirement for these jobs.
But there are many other job options, too. Our business students are looking to work at successful companies where they can add value, gain respect, and grow as professionals.
Many students are also interested in starting their own business. I would say one in 10 people I meet with want to become entrepreneurs. This is where math and accounting skills become very important. You also need very good communication and leadership skills.
Of course, our Business Management program teaches all these skills, so graduates are prepared to write a business plan, manage staff, handle finances, marketing, etc.
If you’re interested in starting or running a business, you would be an ideal candidate for our Business Management program.
Q: What kinds of questions are on the Herzing admissions test?
Alex: We assess English and basic math skills. Especially fractions and percentages. This gives us an overview of your capabilities to succeed in business training and a real work environment.
Applicants are often nervous about the test, but there’s really no need to worry! In fact, I don’t even call it a test. I call it an “entrance assessment.”
It only takes about 15 minutes and the questions are all multiple choice. The whole point is help you find the best training program and career for your skills.
Q: What if business isn’t a good fit? What do you tell the student?
Alex: I look at the results of the entrance assessment, and if business doesn’t fit, I suggest another program.
For example, if math skills are weak but English communication is strong, I might suggest our Medical Office Administration program. You will still work in an office setting in a professional role, but there is less math required.
Occupational Health and Safety is another great option. This is actually a business program, but it focuses more on communication than math skills.
There are many options to choose from. I will help you figure out the best path.
Q: What about students who are worried about balancing business training with work, kids, and a busy schedule?
Alex: I usually ask about this at the beginning of the admissions interview. I find out about their schedule, if they have kids, are a single parent, working full-time, etc.
We talk about the challenges ahead and I reassure them, you can do it! I tell students, yes, it will take hard work, but this is the time in your life to get this done. It’s time to get the job you want and a more secure future.
I prepare students for what to expect and give them the support they need to take the next step. Some people are scared to start, but once they enrol and begin training, everything falls into place.
Herzing has a great team to help you succeed, earn your diploma, and find a good job. This is what we’re here for.
Want to learn more about Business training at Herzing?
Herzing College Ottawa offers Business diplomas in Accounting, Business Administration, Business Management, and Occupational Health & Safety.
If you want to learn more about our business diplomas, your next step is to speak with an Admissions Advisor like Alex.
We hold advising appointments on campus, over the phone, and online.
You can ask about courses, application requirements, tuition costs, and course schedules. You can also discuss your background and career goals.
The Advisor will guide you toward the best training program for your needs.
Click below to see all available business programs at Herzing College Ottawa, and chat live with an Advisor. We're here to help.