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Posts Tagged admissions officer

TAG!! You’re it!

seanna-85I was never good at hide-and-seek.  I could handle it a little better if I was the one counting, but hiding was horrible for me.  On the one hand, I’m lanky, slightly clumsy, and never good at fitting into the covert nooks and crannies of the house.  But more than that, I’m extremely impatient.  Even waiting for my friend or cousin to count to twenty was too much.  So you can imagine my anxiety as I anticipated college admission decisions.  I was convinced that time had stopped.  Not only had time stopped, but the mailman was in cahoots with the colleges to keep me from the outcomes as long as possible.

Just as I’d reached my end and was about to call the Pentagon to report the conspiracy, I received my first letter in the mail.  Actually, it was less of a letter and more of a package.  Okay, so if you’ve heard the theory that acceptance letters come in big envelopes, while rejections arrive in small envelopes…I have to admit that I think it might be true.  (I apologize if you were waiting for me to discredit the rumor).  I was ecstatic!  I called my mom, texted my best friend, and hugged my boyfriend.  The hard work WAS paying off.  Someone DID want me!  I’d applied to over ten schools, and each of the letters were soon rolling in.  However, the one I was most nervously awaiting had yet to find its way to my mailbox.  Pomona had not replied.

By April 15th, I was sure that I’d been rejected.  Honestly, I was crushed at first.  I wondered what I’d done wrong, if my essays weren’t strong enough…if I wasn’t academically sound enough for their admissions process.  Here’s a small piece of advice—a rejection letter does not reflect a shortcoming in your personality.  Although you may not have been the best fit for that particular college according to a few admission officers, you should not take it as a personal attack on your character or on your worthiness as a human being.  In fact, sometimes when we’re required to open our eyes to new options and alternatives that we weren’t willing to consider at first, windows of opportunity fly open that benefit us amazingly.  Therefore, keep your mind, heart, and eyes open.  While knowing what you want is important, be receptive to changes and prospects from colleges that may not have been your number one.  And if you do get into your number one, congratulations!

Oh…I finally received that acceptance package from Pomona.  I’d given them the wrong zip code.  Second piece of advice—double check your address before submitting information.  The government wasn’t conspiring against me after all.
:)

Big Bro

duylam-85I must say from the get-go I never really had a “mentor” or someone who helped me along the college process, at least not in the strictest sense. And this is true for many first generation students. We just don’t have anyone who takes our hands and shows us the ins and outs of looking for colleges or helps us fill out financial aid or any of that.

CollegeConfidential was my guiding light as far as the whole process goes. Everybody has a different story, but please listen to this one piece of advice: do not not ask for help. When I was beginning my search I just told my mom “Yeah, yeah, I got this, don’t worry. I got everything down.” Well sure I thought I had everything down, but now that I’m in college I’ve talked to more admission officers and financial service officers, and I regret not asking for help.

Yes, I know you have no questions, everything seems pretty straight forward. Red buzzer. Did you know you could go back and appeal for larger financial aid package? If you get into multiple schools, and the one you reaaaaaaaaallllllllyyyy want to get into does not offer the package you can afford, you should try appealing for a larger package.

That’s just one thing you learn once you start talking to people who have been through the college process before. And you know what? I know you don’t have questions, but maybe you should talk to someone anyways. Just ask: hey so what was applying for college like for you? Or my friends’ and my personal favorite, what goodies do you got in that college bag? Hah we don’t really talk like that.

The point being is that you should just get a feel for what has been done, what has succeeded in getting more aid, acceptance, etc, and what has not succeeded. If you’re stuck in an area where not a lot of people have gone to college, you should just go up to your guidance counselor, and ask them about their experience. That’s what I did, and I really love my high school counselor. She was the one who told me about CSO in the first place.

As I’ve said, I never had anyone really tell me what to do or how to do anything as far as college. This is good and bad. Good because I have had the freedom to do what I want and there is nothing like staying up until 1am looking at colleges with your buddies. Bad because I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing.

*** I just got a text from my good friend, David Ngo. He has midterms right now and his text couldn’t have been any better for right now. “Gotta dig deep and find the source of strength and see [life] from a bigger perspective.” What’s the bigger perspective for you?

What I mean is what is the reason you’re doing what you are doing? Why go to college? For a better future? Yes that is the answer, but why do you want the better future? Simon Sinek asked me the same thing and it is something worth asking yourself…

Whatever the reason, there is, as I have come to find out, a person or people behind the reason. My mom was the biggest factor in me coming to college. Her story is a bit too intimate for me to share so publicly, but I’ll talk about the theme that is universal to most, if not all, first generation students.

The weight that is put on your shoulders is a weight that many first generation students feel. I dare not call it a burden, but rather a 1000 ton brick on your back. And that is why we do what we do. Because we love our families, because they expect so much from us,  because we expect so much from ourselves, as the forerunners for wealth in the future generations,  this is what fuels our passion.

I may be generalizing way too much, forgive me if I am. I may sound corny, but this is coming right from my soul [this sounds pretty corny looking back]. If you have more reasons as to why you strive so hard or have someone special who has motivated you feel free to put it down in digital form!

SURVIVING YOUR COLLEGE INTERVIEW

lysa-85Let’s face it, the thought of sitting down and having a one-on-one conversation with an admissions officer or alumni of a college you have applied to can be very  intimidating, but it’s also one of your only chances to truly separate yourself from a whole pool of applicants applying to that very same school. An interview can often “make or break you” in the admissions process. AND YOU SHOULD NEVER REFUSE AN INTERVIEW IF ONE IS OFFERED TO YOU, BECAUSE IT CAN USUALLY MAKE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “ON THE FENCE”  OR “OVER IT” WHEN IT COMES TIME TO DECIDE YOUR ADMISSION STATUS! THEY WILL NOTE WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAD AN INTERVIEW ON YOUR APPLICATION!

Overall, you want to make sure that your interview goes smoothly. In order to make this happen, you must be prepared before the interview for both the expected and unexpected. And most importantly, BE NATURAL and BE YOURSELF. It is best to think of an interview as a conversation, because while you want to “sell” your best qualities to an admissions counselor, they want to “sell” you their school. Below, I have listed some of the most important things to consider before you go to an interview, with the help of : http://www.actingforbusiness.com/interview/JobInterviewtips/college/collegeinterviewtips.htm

1. Shake the interviewer’s hand and make sure to introduce yourself! A firm handshake often shows confidence.

 2. Keep up on current events.  The interviewer may ask you your opinion about a current event, so you want to be sure that you have read a recent newspaper, or at least are aware of what is currently going on in the world. Being unaware, is not a good quality, because it makes it seem as though you have no idea or don’t care to know what is going on around you. DON’T STRESS ABOUT THIS PART OF THE INTERVIEW, BUT BE PREPARED with at least one topic to discuss that interests you and relates to a current news event. For example, one relevant current topic might include Haiti Relief efforts.

3, DON’T EVER BRING A PARENT INTO THE INTERVIEW. REMEMBER YOU ARE THE PROSPECTIVE STUDENT NOT YOUR PARENT!

4. Do your research about the college. Not looking as if you are interested in the college is a huge mistake and if you haven’t done any research you will look disinterested. You will almost certainly be asked why you are interested in the college and what sparked your interest in it. Do not say anything negative about the college and don’t say anything cliche either. TRY AND BE HONEST, BUT SOUND INFORMED AS WELL. You may list your reasons for interest in the college as the programs it offers, its unique (educational or social) systems (depending on the school), or possibly its other characteristics that appeal to you. BUT, NEVER TELL A SCHOOL THAT IT IS YOUR “SAFETY SCHOOL.” IF ADMISSIONS KNOWS THAT THEIR SCHOOL IS ONE OF YOUR LAST CHOICES, THEN YOU MAY BE MOVED TO THE LOWER END OF THEIR LIST OF ACCEPTANCE, SINCE THEY NOW KNOW YOU’LL MOST LIKELY ENROLL SOMEWHERE ELSE ANYWAYS! Also, try and refrain from listing all other schools you’ve applied to unless they ask, because that also raises the question as to why you’ve applied to those other schools as well.

5. Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer. Ask questions that show your interest in the college. Have them prepared beforehand. Don’t ask questions that could easily be answered by looking at the college brochures, course catalogue or their website because that will make you look as if you have not done your homework.

6. Review your essay. You interviewer may be interested in your essay topic or wish to discuss it with you. BE PREPARED!

7 . DO NOT SHOW UP TO AN INTERVIEW IN JEANS, SHORT SHORTS/SKIRT,UNFITTING OR TIGHT CLOTHING, BAGGY CLOTHING, OR ANYTHING YOU WOULD WEAR OUT WITH FRIENDS. WEAR A NICE SUIT, DRESS, or DRESS PANTS AND COLLARED SHIRT. LOOK PROFESSIONAL; YOU WANT TO POSITIVELY RELFECT YOURSELF. AVOID PERFUME OR COLOGNE! That may seem like an odd request, but some people are allergic to perfume, and the last thing you want to do is cause your interviewer to break out in hives or completely be unable to speak with you due to the scent. MOST IMPORTANTLY, NEVER CHEW GUM OR CURSE DURING AN INTERVIEW! IT IS DISRESPECTFUL AND WILL BE NOTED BY THE INTERVIEWER!

8. CONSIDER PREPARING A RESUME REFLECTING YOUR GRADES, TEST SCORES, EXTRACURICULAR ACTIVITY INVOLVEMENT, SPORTS INVOLVEMENT, AWARDS/ ACCOMPLiSHMENTS, WORK EXPERIENCE, ETC. THIS WILL PROVIDE YOUR INTERVIEWER WITH A SUMMARIZED LOOK INTO YOUR BACKGROUND/ HIGH SCHOOL CAREER,AND INTERESTS.

9. Arrive on time! DO NOT BE LATE!

10. Make eye contact with the interviewer throughout the interview. BE CONFIDENT. THIS IS YOUR TIME TO PROVE YOURSELF, AND YOU’VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES! 

….AND DON’T FORGET TO ALWAYS THANK THE INTERVIEWER FOR THEIR TIME!

YOU CAN DO THIS! YOU ARE MORE THAN READY TO IMPRESS ANY COLLEGE ADMISSIONS OFFICER. YOU’VE ALREADY MADE IT SO FAR! BEST OF LUCK GUYS! IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS, POST THEM!