Skip to main content

Profiles in Diversity: Michael Chernak

June 14, 2024

Get to Know Noodle Senior Enrollment Advisor, Michael Chernak

“ I believe in trying new things and being creative with the work we do to meet our goals. I’m here to support and advocate for my team so they can do their work productively. This helps them grow, but also keeps our team effective and motivated.”

Michael Chernak is a Senior Enrollment Advisor at Noodle. Originally from Binghamton, NY he received his undergraduate degree from Binghamton University. He shares that his career originally started out in TV and Film production, however education has always been important to his journey. During his time in undergrad he was a teaching assistant and assisted students applying for film externships with Binghamton alumni who worked in the TV and film industry. Michael shares that education has always been intertwined in the work that he does and the Noodle value of Never Stop Learning has  always resonated with him. Now here at Noodle, he supports his team by understanding who they are as individuals through communication and developing them professionally. He also leads his team by creating a supportive environment for not just them, but for the students they serve.

What elements or traits does a great leader exhibit?

A great leader shows understanding, has empathy, and good listening skills. They are transparent, provide learning opportunities, and support career growth to help colleagues succeed. In my experience, getting to know my team on a human level and understanding their unique working styles has been key to creating a supportive and productive environment.

When you think of great leadership, who comes to mind? Why?

I think about my mom and the women in my family who inspire me. I also admire LGBTQ leaders—politicians, community workers, and volunteers—who support our community and drive change. Artists who use their art to highlight current events and changes in our culture. These individuals take meaningful action with care, empathy, and understanding—which is essential in leadership.

How has your personal leadership style evolved? 

My leadership style has evolved through gaining hands-on experience in different industries. In film and post-production, I learned to manage and organize complex projects, work in a fast-paced environment and meet tight deadlines. Transitioning to higher education, I focused on listening to and addressing individual student needs while providing accurate and ethical advice and supporting their enrollment journey. Now, I  manage a team with my director and  I prioritize transparent communication, continuous professional development, and creating a supportive environment for both my team and the students we serve.

What is it about your background or career experiences that successfully positioned you for your role at Noodle? Describe that role.

My background in both creative industries and education has uniquely prepared me for my role at Noodle. My experience in film and TV post-production equipped me with many skills such as editing and meeting deadlines. As a teaching assistant during my undergraduate studies, I developed a passion for helping students achieve their goals. Additionally, leading workshops and film festival lectures with LGBTQ artists enhanced my ability to engage with many different communities. Transitioning to a Senior Enrollment Advisor role has allowed me to combine these skills to guide students through their enrollment journey. At Noodle, I manage a team of advisors, helping them navigate their tasks and ensuring that our students feel supported and valued from their first inquiry to their enrollment.

How do you support the success of your team?

I support my team by understanding their individual working styles and meeting them where they’re at. I promote transparency and open communication. I believe in trying new things and being creative with the work we do to meet our goals. I’m here to support and advocate for my team so they can do their work productively. This helps them grow, but also keeps our team effective and motivated.

Describe how your career has been enhanced by exposure to diverse people, places or experiences.

Living in both New York and London after growing up in a small town in upstate NY has given me exposure to different cultures and experiences. My film work, which often focuses on the LGBTQ community, has allowed me to learn from many different perspectives and stories. These experiences have deeply influenced my worldview and inspire me to challenge conventional notions of thinking. Working with teams and students from various backgrounds has expanded my ability to collaborate and build an inclusive and dynamic work environment.

What are some of the most effective tools in your leadership arsenal?

One of the most effective tools in my leadership arsenal is active listening, which helps me truly understand my team and their perspectives. Knowing my team members and their needs helps us to leverage each person’s strengths. This understanding is important for achieving our goals. Without it, working cohesively as a team becomes challenging.

Please tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to learn. 

People might be surprised to learn that I worked in film and created a queer cooking show called “Home, A Queer Cooking Series” while living in London. This experience helped me grow my post-production and research skills for documentary filmmaking. It also allowed me to build a community around food, film, and art! 

Stay Informed with Noodle

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive the latest insights directly to your inbox.

By clicking Submit you’re confirming that you agree with our Terms and Conditions.