Never let it be said that Andra Peterson isn’t versatile.
Although her “day job” is serving as loan counselor in the Clayton State University Office of Financial Aid, Peterson has other talents outside of advising students on loan options to help pay for their education. In a multimedia world, one of the functions of the Clayton State Financial Aid office is to provide information to incoming students at the University’s regular new student orientation sessions. And, since a picture is worth a thousand words, that presentation is done via a Financial Aid video, written and directed by the loan counselor.
“I honestly can say I have never been into videography before this,” says Peterson. “I was approached by my director, Pat Barton and my supervisor, Assistant Director Michelle Craig, to come up with something different to show to the students in orientation.
“They tend to get overwhelmed by the constant PowerPoints, so we wanted something different to break up that monotony. I wrote the skit and they (Barton and Craig) just happened to love it, and we just took it from there.”
Maybe more importantly, the students loved it as well. The evaluation forms from the orientation inevitably reflect that the participants have really enjoyed the Financial Aid video. Typical comments include… “The Financial Aid video was awesome!” “The Financial Aid presentation (was) the most enjoyable aspect of the program for me.”
So what was Peterson’s skit?
“The video features two actual Clayton State students (Codi and David),” she explains. “Codi is playing a student from another university. She comes to Clayton State to visit David and complain about the poor service she is receiving at her current institution. David, playing a Clayton State student, pretty much brags about our Financial Aid office and points out the services we offer that Codi does not receive at her university. By the end of the video, Codi is excited to make the switch to Clayton State.”
Peterson and her husband Carl live in Atlanta with their three sons, Carl Jr., is six, Colin is three, and Carter is three months. In addition to serving as a loan counselor and videographer, Andra Peterson is also a student at Clayton State, with nine classes left to finish her degree in Liberal Arts.
Peterson started at Clayton State in July 2008 as a student loan officer, certifying all student loan applications. In July 2010, she was promoted to financial aid loan counselor, a position she describes as being a hybrid position between loan officer and counselor.
“I can process the loan applications and as well as perform verifications. I tend to help out wherever I’m needed in the office,” she says. “I also created and maintained our Facebook and Twitter pages, which I recently handed over to the new Loan Officer, Stephanie Samuels. We are planning on launching a Financial Aid TV in the future that I’m helping to put together. We want to make more informational videos about the different types of financial aid here at the office as well as film a few more skits. The students will be able to view these videos while waiting in the office and on the YouTube page I plan to create.”