Spotlight On: Derek Accorto, Retention Team Lead

Last updated on: December 29, 2021

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Derek Accorto knows what it’s like to be a working student. While he was earning his undergraduate degree, he worked full-time as a manager and credits that experience for helping develop his service-oriented mindset. Marry this with his love of education and joining Wiley University Services seemed to be the logical next step.

Derek started at Wiley in 2017 as a Student Services Coordinator. He was referred by his wife, who works as a Director of Enrollment. They agreed that the role played to his strengths, plus he appreciated Wiley’s company values. “My wife always spoke highly of the family oriented culture. I was very excited to join the team.”

As a Retention Team Lead, Derek works closely with students to help them get across the finish line and reach their final goal—graduation. “A lot of my job is building rapport with students and finding those motivators and keeping them engaged through encouragement and support.” Much of what Derek does is proactive outreach, like letting students know deadlines for applications and registration, and processes.

And while working with about 1,200 students may seem daunting to some, Derek doesn’t feel overloaded and takes great pride in his work. “Perhaps the most important thing I do is letting students know that they have a support system with me, their professors, and their advisors. I also let them know how to access career services and free counseling. Knowing that you’ve made a difference and that you’ve helped someone is the most rewarding experience for me.”

Outside of Wiley, Derek enjoys spending time with his wife and 4-year-old daughter. They frequently visit Walt Disney World, which complements Derek’s Star Wars fascination. He also loves to stay active and play basketball and work out. And, although he is embarrassed to admit it, he is a huge Miami Dolphins fan.

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