Senior admissions counselor: Jillian Briggs

Behind the Scenes

Jillian+Briggs+talking+to+an+un-pictured+student

Photographs courtesy of Tiffany Chin

Jillian Briggs talking to an un-pictured student

After almost 10 years at UIS, Jillian Briggs said “I really enjoy it here. I feel like it’s been a good career for me. I feel like I’m really fortunate because I like coming to work, almost every day.” 

Briggs is the senior admissions counselor in the UIS Office of Admissions. She runs preview days and group visits.

“I [also] supervise our student ambassadors, which I like doing a lot. That part’s fun for me because I get to feel like I’m being kind of a mentor for them,” said Briggs.

Felisha Flowers, a junior and student ambassador, enjoys “the way [Briggs] trains her employees or teaches them. She doesn’t talk down to you. … She teaches you how you should be taught, and she adapts.”

Flowers continued, “If you like to be taught face-to-face, she can do that. If you’d rather be sent pictures of how to get something in our system, she can do that. She adapts very well. She’s by far the best boss I have ever had.” 

Briggs said working with the ambassadors keeps her involved in the campus community.

“I really like the community here. I like being part of that college atmosphere, even though I’m not really in that atmosphere anymore, I still get to be a part of it.”

Briggs is from Cary, Illinois, close to the Wisconsin border. She is a first-generation college student, beginning at McHenry County College because she considered it as an easy commute from Cary.

After earning her general associate’s degree in 2000, Briggs decided to attend Columbia College Chicago, earning a bachelor’s in journalism by 2002.

“I started out as a journalism major and I liked the writing part,” but Briggs considered the interviews and reporting of the journalism to be stressful.

Because of this, she shifted her track for her master’s, moving into communications and receiving a master’s degree from Western Illinois University, where she met her husband of nearly eight years.

Recently, Briggs has discovered that “Apparently, I’m a lifelong student,” as she is obtaining a second master’s degree from UIS in human development counseling with a concentration in marriage and family counseling.

When not working, “My favorite thing is just to hang out with family and my husband, spend time with them,” said Briggs.

She has hobbies of video games and crochet, which includes crochet nights with one of her friends. Briggs is also a big Harry Potter fan, saying that she is a Hufflepuff – “a proud one.” 

A hobby that she shares with her husband is traveling, or going on vacation. Her favorite place to visit is Maui, Hawaii.

Once married, Briggs and her husband agreed to move to Springfield, a smaller city that her husband could handle and downstate as Briggs wanted.

She began looking for a local job and “sort of stumbled on this one, [which] ended up really being a good thing for me. I really like it. I kind of ended up finding my career here.” 

“I loved being in the college environment,” said Briggs. “I got super involved when I was at Western, so when this one came up, I thought it might be really fun to work for a college, because [college] was a really exciting time for me.” 

Will Newton, a student office support specialist, has been working with Briggs for about two years and said his favorite part of working with Briggs is “her charisma.” 

“She’s always energetic,” said Newton. “Even though this is a great job, sometimes you can get really stressed out and you can get really tired of talking to a lot people … but she always has positive attitude and makes sure you’re having a good day, which is important.”