Brett Carguello is an Associate Director of Admissions at Cazenovia College. Carguello’s job is more than just reviewing applications, he guides students and their families through the entire admissions process, starting with evaluating the school. For most that process begins when they enter their junior year of high school and continues until they arrive on campus for their freshman year of college.

A graduate of Elmira College, Carguello had never heard of Cazenovia College or even thought about working in admissions. After taking a break from working in furniture sales, a family friend sent Carguello the job description for admissions counselor at Cazenovia. He thought it sounded like him, so he went on the interview. That was over 16 years ago.

In that time, Carguello has traveled throughout the country for Cazenovia. His territory includes everywhere except New York state and New Jersey. While his role doesn’t specifically cover equine applicants, he has become known for his equine expertise. “The person who previously had my position had an equine background and she answered a lot of questions on the program,” noted Carguello. When she left, the calls continued to get passed to me, so I quickly learned and took on that role.”

For Carguello, most days are a lot of fun. “I don’t want to say every day is perfect, but I really enjoy the people; the interactions with students, staff and faculty,” noted Carguello. Something that distinguishes the role of admissions at Cazenovia is the unprecedented amount of contact the team has with students, even after they enroll and graduate. “I have stayed in contact with a number of students,” added Carguello. “Many have become close friends where I have attended or been in their weddings!”

Carguello believes his job starts with building a relationship with the students and their parents. “I try to move through the process at a pace that makes everyone comfortable,” explained Carguello. “Applying to college is overwhelming and scary for people, particularly when you discuss paying for it. I try to take the fear out of the process by being genuine, providing information and being available to answer questions.” 

One thing that is difficult for Carguello to convey to applicants is how dedicated the professors at Cazenovia are to their students and their success. “Hearing it isn’t feeling it,” points out Carguello. “We try to explain it to applicants because it is something that sets us apart from other schools, but it isn’t until they experience it that they truly understand.”

When asked what advice he would give incoming students and families. Carguello somewhat jokingly notes, “The number one item forgotten by incoming students to furnish their dorm rooms is a trash can!” More seriously, he wants to remind students to try to enjoy the process of applying to college. “It is scary but also exciting,” added Carguello. “There are a lot of schools out there who would like to have you attend; embrace that experience.”