Brian Jansen

Senior Business Development Strategist

AKA “Jovial Jansen

A veteran admissions and marketing expert based in Portland, Oregon, Brian Jansen works closely with Spark451’s partner institutions primarily in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest to help them achieve their enrollment goals.

Jansen holds a BA in psychology from St. Norbert College and an MS in marketing communication from Illinois Tech’s Stuart School of Business. For more than two decades, he has been moving the admissions needle for higher education institutions.

Jansen started his career working his way up through the admissions and marketing ranks at a handful of campuses in the Chicagoland area, including Trinity International University, Illinois Tech, and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. At different points of his journey, he gained experience serving a variety of audiences including traditional undergraduate students, non-traditional adult degree completion students, and graduate students. At one point, he even managed to boost enrollment for one institution by a whopping 20 percent in his first year!

In 2010, Jansen transitioned from on-campus roles into enrollment consulting. In the last 12 years, he has partnered with well over 75 institutions from around the country. Along the way, he has helped schools refine their recruitment and enrollment strategies, implemented multi-channel student search and application generation campaigns, and delivered data-driven funnel qualification via predictive modeling.

In his spare time, you can find Brian heading to the Pacific coast with his daughter and his dog in tow!

What do you love most about working in higher education?

I love knowing that our work is making a difference for students (and families) on their path to getting a college degree. The decision to explore furthering one’s education after high school is monumental — especially for first-generation students.

How did you choose your profession?

I think, like a lot of folks in higher education, especially enrollment, I sort of fell into the profession without really thinking it would turn into a long-term career. Like many of my colleagues, I was a student worker during my undergraduate studies and found myself in an admission counselor role soon thereafter. Being on a campus was familiar and comfortable.

What is one superpower you’d want to possess?

I'd love the ability to stop time like Evie from the sitcom Out of This World was able to do by touching her index fingers together. Time is one thing I feel like we never have enough of to do things like read books, finish up a home project, spend time with our families, travel, prepare for meetings, etc.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I live in Portland, Oregon, which is an easy 90 minute drive to the Pacific coast. I love taking my daughter, Alexandra, and dog, Champ, to Cannon Beach — home to Haystack Rock, which can be seen in such cinematic masterpieces as The Goonies and Kindergarten Cop. This beach town is my happy place — fun tide pools to explore, craft beers at Pelican Brewery, and nighttime bonfires with your toes in the sand.