It's a bit ridiculous when you think about October 18, 2017 being National Chocolate Cupcake Day. It's also Necktie Day in Croatia—where the necktie was born—and numerous other countries, too. But more importantly, October 18 is National Financial Aid Day, and that's something Great Lakes can wholeheartedly get behind.
That's because what you do matters in the lives of students and families—not just today, but for many weeks and years to come. While every career has its challenging days, take time today to remind yourself of the huge reward that results from all your hard work. People who can access and succeed in higher education are on a path to a better life, and you're a vital part of making that possible.
Let's face it. Instead of Necktie Day, today should really be Hat Day because you wear so many of them.
- You're a magician. You can magically turn a spreadsheet of borrowers who are struggling with repayment into effective email outreach that reminds borrowers they have options, and that they can contact their financial aid office or loan servicer for help finding a solution.
- You're a coach. You teach, guide, and encourage your students to learn vital skills related to budgeting, banking, loan selection and repayment, credit, and identity theft so they can win at the game of life.
- You're a customer service representative. Even when it's been a long day and you're ready to go, you patiently answer that one last phone call to chat with a student who desperately needs to find a scholarship, grant, or private loan to help her complete her senior year.
- You're a firefighter. When tuition deadlines loom, you're the last line of defense in putting out fires that threaten to extinguish a student's enrollment eligibility. (This explains why, during certain times of the year, you may go home feeling hot, sweaty, and exhausted.)
- You're a manager. Not only do you manage endless projects, tasks, and staff, you may be the person who sets policy for your team and takes tough calls from internal and external customers, enforcing your rules and gathering feedback to develop more effective policies.
- You're the face of your school for students and families who worry about paying for an education. Maybe you don't set your school's tuition, policies, or housing rates, but you probably hear a lot about them. Your patience and calming presence remind frazzled students and families that you're there to help them pay for their education.
- You're a compliance wizard. You know about—and enforce—important rules and regulations to maintain your school's eligibility to provide a variety of financial solutions that help your students afford education.
- You're a team player. When your colleagues are on vacation or sick leave, you take pride in making sure the team shows up at game time, stepping in to do your best at whatever position the team needs you to play at the time.
It's your day! Celebrate by wearing a necktie if you usually don't, or go without if you prefer. Bake or buy chocolate cupcakes to take to work, or just order in for lunch with your colleagues if you're too busy for a proper celebration.
But whatever you do, take just a few minutes today to feel good about what you do for a living because it matters. At Great Lakes, we know how hard you work and value your dedication to making a positive lifelong difference in the lives of your students.