A Look Inside Academic Impressions

by Daniel Fusch, Academic Impressions,
interviewing Amit Mrig, President, Academic Impressions

I know from talking with many of our subscribers that not all of you are aware of the full breadth of what Academic Impressions does in the higher-ed industry. Some things you may not know about AI:

  • We organize over 100 conferences for higher education professionals a year, as well as offering webcasts, books, and assessment tools to help you do your job better.
  • Through our events, we have provided practical strategies to professionals at over 3,000 institutions of higher education in North America.
  • 98% of our participants would recommend our events to a colleague.
  • Higher Ed Impact -- your complimentary AI publication -- has nearly 60,000 subscribers, most of them from the administrative side of the house.
  • Everything we do, we do with a small, committed team of about 30 people. (Many people I talk with assume that we have a staff of hundreds, but that isn't so; we are actually a very small office!)

And we are looking to grow that team this fall and winter -- especially our program development team, tasked with researching the challenges facing higher-ed professionals and developing conferences, courses, and curricula to help you address those challenges.

Today, I interview our president, Amit Mrig, about our team, what it's like to work at Academic Impressions, and what excites him most about working here.

Interview with Amit Mrig

Daniel Fusch. Amit, looking back at the past decade and a half, what strikes you most about what AI has been able to achieve?

Amit Mrig. We've heard countless stories from past attendees about what they’ve been able to do on their campuses with the information they have learned from our programs -- that's incredibly meaningful to me:

  • The University of Guelph has reallocated resources, making prioritization decisions closely informed by data.
  • Washington & Lee University, after attending our "Launching a Day of Giving" webcast, conducted a very successful 24 hour giving challenge (4,700 donors, $1.2 million raised not including matching gifts).
  • Thomas Edison State College was able to build an award-winning online one-stop center from scratch, using phone, email, and an online database -- while simultaneously ensuring that students didn't feel disconnected from the institution.

Those are just a few.

Daniel Fusch. Amit, let's talk about the team that makes all this is possible. To you, what is most striking about the team?

Amit Mrig. When I go home at night, I'm most excited to talk to my wife about the quality of the interactions I have with our people.

These are incredibly smart people who work well together. I don't take that for granted. Often, you can have a lot of smart people who are excellent individual contributors but who aren’t willing to learn from others, listen to others, and work hard for each other. This team is willing to do that.

We have people who are self-starters, who take initiative and ownership over their work. They are proud of what they’re doing and the difference they are making.

Daniel Fusch. Could you speak a little to your philosophy in leading the team?

Amit Mrig. It's really important to me to continue to learn and improve. That's something I have really valued about my own leadership journey and something I try and instill in others on our team. When I first started AI, I didn't know anything about growing a team or a business from the ground up, so for me learning and leading are inextricably linked.

Daniel Fusch. What do you think is unique about AI's approach to our work?

Amit Mrig. We get to focus on what’s actually working in the industry and how we can share those ideas, resources, and best practices to others. There is so much negativity right now about what doesn’t work in higher education—from both the national media and the trade media—and we want to be an organization that shines a spotlight on what is working.

There are no easy answers and certainly no silver bullets to address the challenges facing institutions today, but a first step has to be stepping outside your four walls, meeting with colleagues from outside your institution, learning from them, sharing with them, wrestling with the issues, and planning alongside other members of your team. We get to contribute to that each and every day at AI.

Daniel Fusch. If someone was considering applying today to join our team at AI, what would you say to them? What would you want them to think about?

Amit Mrig. If you want to make a difference in higher education, if you believe in our mission, if you are a hard-worker and a self-starter, we would love to start a conversation.

Join Our Team

Want to make a difference in higher education?

Learn about our employment opportunities today.

 

FROM THE AI TEAM:

"One of the most impressive things about AI is the people that work here. My colleagues are intelligent, energetic people who always look to improve upon what has been done before. At the core of everything they do is: 'How will this impact our customers so that they come away with useful knowledge that will help them do more in their jobs?' At the heart of that is a very dedicated person with good intentions. And on top of that, these people are witty, smart, kind, efficient, and driven." - Christine Murphy, Online Training Manager

"Having come here from a research organization, I appreciate how efficiently and effectively AI conducts its market research and gets solutions to our clients in a timely manner." - Elizabeth Hubbell, Conference Director

"Being an Assistant Conference Director at AI is challenging but very rewarding! Our work is fast-paced and I'm constantly learning new things about the world of Enrollment Management and about the higher education industry." - Sarah Seigle, Assistant Conference Director

"I work with the leading minds in the industry and design our trainings from start to finish. From the initial research, to instructional design, to event execution, I connect with our attendees and see the event's impact on our attendees each month. It's incredibly rewarding work." - Meghan Saenz, Conference Director