When Briana Jones attended the University of Oklahoma, she connected with impactful mentors who made a difference in her life. Now, as an admissions counselor for Diversity Enrichment Programs (DEP), Jones aims to be a support system for both current and future OU students.
“I have always wanted to be a change agent and pour into other people’s lives and help them be successful,” Jones explained. “I was especially drawn to being able to work with our interns that we have in DEP just because I think it’s important to pour into other students’ lives, especially students that I can identity with. I know the importance of having a Black person in this position if you’re a Black student and having someone you can talk to.”
Jones started at OU in May, and she said she is looking forward to being able to go into schools and make connections with students, especially since that aspect of the job hasn’t been possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of schools Jones serves as admissions counselor for are located in the Oklahoma City metro area, including her alma mater, Putnam City North High School.
“I have always wanted to be a change agent and pour into other people’s lives and help them be successful." - Briana Jones
A 2016 public relations graduate, Jones worked as Peer Teaching Assistant for University College’s First-Year Foundations and Strategies for Student Success courses. She was also the president of the Kappa Psi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; participated in pageants; served on the homecoming committee one year; and was involved with the Black Student Association.
Jones’ internship experience included working at OU Health as a public relations intern and spending a semester in Washington, D.C., as a communications intern for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. After graduation, Jones started a full-time position with OU Health, working in the marketing department planning events.
That role shifted into community relations, and she later transitioned into a community relations coordinator role with Oklahoma City Public Schools. The opportunity to directly interact with and mentor students drew her to the job at OU.
Jones, who began a master’s of education program in educational administration, curriculum, and supervision this semester, said she wants prospective students to know she is truly invested in their future and that she is here to care for and support them during the college search process.
“I know that this transition from high school to college is challenging and scary, as a student and also as a parent because your child is going away to college,” Jones said. “It’s important for students and their families to know that I’ve been there and I’ve done that, and I know all the feelings that they're experiencing.
“They are going to have someone there, whether it’s me as their admissions counselor or as a part of the DEP team, to support them,” she continued. “And it doesn’t stop there. Once you get to OU, you will continue to have people who are in your corner, and I am always going to be a resource as well.”