Posts Tagged ‘college fair’

Time to Hit the Old Dusty Trail

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Capture 2 Capture

Happy Fall!  Classes have resumed, Labor Day Weekend has come and gone, and tomorrow I head out on my first recruitment trip for the Class of 2020.  While some of my colleagues have already begun their travels, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk a little more about what we in Holy Cross Admissions do while we’re out on the road.

As I mentioned in my previous post, my colleagues and I will be travelling all over the country to share information with prospective students and their families about what makes Holy Cross special.  We try to visit at least four high schools a day as well as attend college fairs and host alumni interview programs in order to meet future applicants.  As such, travel season is a great time for us to explain our approach to admissions while seeing prospective students in their home areas.

To get the most out of the recruitment season, here are some tips:

– if possible, make labels with your name, high school, class year, email address, home address, and phone number.  It will save you a lot of time when you’re meeting admissions reps at college fairs or during high school visits!

– try not to wear any college paraphernalia if you know that you’re going to meet an admission counselor.  While a college sweatshirt may be comfortable, it can also be a little distracting if I’m trying to talk to a student about Holy Cross and they’re sporting gear from [INSERT OTHER COLLEGE NAME HERE].  On that note, please be mindful of your clothing choices in general the day of a visit from a rep or a college fair–these are wonderful opportunities to make a strong first impression!

– come talk to us!  My colleagues and I travel thousands of miles to visit schools.  It takes us a lot of time, effort, and coordination to plan our travel, but we go through it all because we really want to interact with our applicants.  At Holy Cross we take a very holistic approach to admissions, so it means a lot to us to be able to speak with prospective students.  We call this demonstrated interest, and it plays an important role in our decision-making process.

– lastly but still importantly…please offer us recommendations for dinner or lunch!  Travel is such an incredible part of our work for many reasons, but certainly one is that we get the chance to experience other parts of the country and the world.  In my opinion, sampling local food and drink is such a lovely little perk!

I hope this helps you as you embark on the next step in the college application process.  Enjoy the season!

(photography by Tom Rettig)

Why Holy Cross? The smiles and thank you’s.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

As many members of the admissions staff write their biggest answer to “Why Holy Cross,” it just so happened two Associate Directors of Admissions — Andrew Carter and Lynn Verrecchia — separately chose topics that blend quite well together: the general personality and affect of the student body.

 

6a00e54ed0db8e8833010536f8f30b970b-800wiRecently at a college fair, I was asked a most intriguing question by a current high school junior – “What’s your  favorite thing about Holy Cross students?”

This is a great question – a departure from the usual questions about average GPA’s, average class size and overall student enrollment.

After a brief moment of thought, my answer was simple – Holy Cross students say “thank you.”

And it’s not just that they say “thank you,” but that they have a reason to say “thank you.”

This is a campus that values door holding.  And not just door holding for the delivery man carrying a stack of boxes – but door holding for anyone, any time.

The Jesuit principle of “Cura Personalis” encourages all of us to consider and to care for the entire person and while that influences the way we teach and learn and think about our world, it also reminds us that we are not alone – we are not alone in this world, in this moment or in this doorway.

And that is what I’m reminded of every day when I walk around this campus – Holy Cross students know they are not alone and while there might now always be someone to hold the door for, they always pause and check.

And for that pause, that awareness, I say, “thank you.”

Andrew Carter

Associate Director of Admissions

 

 

LynnVerrecchia.BLOG2Why HC? For the smiles.

When I first visited Holy Cross as a prospective student, one thing stood out to me. Everyone was smiling–at one another, to themselves, and at me. I as looking for a sign that this was the right place for me. What I read in those smiles was that HC students like one another, are content with themselves, and are eager to welcome newcomers.

As a student, I certainly found myself smiling–and being smiled at–a lot. As an alumnus, I find myself grinning on the highway when in traffic behind a car sporting a Holy Cross sticker and in line at the grocery store behind someone wearing a Holy Cross sweatshirt. I’ve made fast friends with other parents simply because of a shared affinity for our alma mater. Nothing brings a smile to my face faster than hearing my 3-year-old carefully spell out H-O-L-Y-C-R-O-S-S!

Holy Cross–it can even make you smile in traffic. That’s why.

Lynn Verrecchia ’01

Associate Director of Admissions

A Day in the Life: On the Road

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Zachary WielgusHey ya’ll!

As anyone who knows me — friends, family, co-workers, recent plane neighbors — I love Tennessee. I love the accent. I love the music. I love the barbeque. Sometimes (read: all the time), I like to pretend I live here as I spend my week visiting Chattanooga, Nashville, and Memphis. So I figured, this trip is a great way to show what it’s like to be a Holy Cross admissions counselor on the road.

 

En route to Nashville from Chattanooga!

En route to Nashville from Chattanooga!

 

6:27 a.m. Begrudgingly pull myself out of bed. I am not much of a morning person.

7:35 a.m. Arrive at St. Cecilia Academy for their mini-fair. Not 12 hours before, I was standing in their foyer for the Catholic Colleges fair for students in Nashville, but it’s important for all the girls to get a chance to stop by.

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9:10 a.m. Wrap up at St. Cecilia’s and head across the street — literally — to Montgomery Bell Academy for a similar setup.

10:30 a.m. A break from the mini-fair action comes in the form of a traditional visit to Ensworth School. In this format, we announce our visits to students and guidance counselors in hopes of having a conversation for 40 minutes about Holy Cross.

10:34 a.m. Whoa! My body finally realized I had had neither coffee nor breakfast today. That’s about to change…

Ahhh, sweet caffeine

Ahhh, sweet caffeine

10:45 a.m. Pull into Ensworth just in time for my scheduled visit. We admissions counselors get pretty good at maximizing these few minutes in between visits.

11:30 a.m. After a great conversation with Laura Stewart, Ensworth School’s Director of College Counseling, I plug Harpeth Hall into my handy-dandy GPS. Did you know there was a time when admissions counselors used maps to get from place to place? As in, a real road atlas. I would make it to a school visit 4% of the time.

11:56 a.m. With an hour before the Harpeth Hall mini-fair begins, I must invoke the unfortunately common parking lot lurk. It’s just me in my rental car, hopefully away from quizzical eyes, answering e-mails on my phone until I can head inside. There is such a thing as being too early.

1:45 p.m. With the end of a strong visit to Harpeth Hall, it’s time for lunch. Let my obsession with Yelp take over!

2:10 p.m. Today’s lunch spot has been found! (Thanks for a delicious salad and iced tea, Fido.)fido

3:30 p.m. To answer more e-mails, nap, or go for a run? Incredibly, I choose run this afternoon. It’s only a quick four-mile one, but I always enjoy the chance to jog around Centennial Park and catch a glimpse of the Parthenon replica. To be honest, I still don’t know why it’s in Nashville…

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4:18 p.m. OK, OK, time to catch up on e-mail,: reply to inquiring students, continue planning Wednesday’s interview night, and keep all the on-campus commitments humming.

6:41 p.m. The best part about Nashville, of course, is the free live music EVERYWHERE. Hop the hotel shuttle to the main strip on Broadway and pick your destination. It sure beats watching TV or reading a magazine while eating dinner. Hey, this part of the job can get a little lonely!

Just a few of the lights on Broadway

Just a few of the lights on Broadway

10:01 p.m. Well, Father Ryan’s mini-fair begins at 7:15 tomorrow morning, so I better head back to the hotel and get some rest. Bless my heart, but I still need my eight hours!

 

For a list of where all 13 of us will be and when, check out our Visits to Your High School page

 

Jesuit Excellence

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Twenty strangers meet on a bus. By week’s end, they will share innumerable experiences and actually become friends.

This sounds like a silly romantic comedy. Not all that different, this is the scene of a typical JET.

A JET is a Jesuit Excellence Tour, which allows a significant number of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities to join together on a week-long trip of group travel. We descend upon a school, taking over its gym or library, unfurl our banners on arranged tables, and carefully adorn the surface with a litany of materials. And then, we wait for the seniors and juniors to take a solid half-hour away from their studies to speak with as many of us as they prefer.

In addition to being a great recruiting tool to interact with more students than usual, the JET is actually a pretty amazing illustration of what it means to be Jesuit. We can toss around fancy Latin phrases  — cura personalis, Ad maiorem Dei gloriam – to summarize our philosophy. Or, as the Jesuits usually opt, we can show you.

That sense of community that I continue to emphasize, in which students truly care for one another and professors honestly pay attention to their students’ well-being and happiness, can be seen in the gathering of 20 admissions counselors for a week-long recruiting trip. How about the notion that social life on campus isn’t exclusive or passive-aggressive, and that it’s so easy to meet new people and join tons of new extracurricular activities? There’s no stronger bond than the ones made by Jesuit counselors; trust me, the weird jokes and fun social interaction we get to have in just five days cannot be replicated. And then there’s that commitment to community service and helping your fellow man or woman. Instead of competing for students – who in all likelihood will be applying to more than one Jesuit school – we travel in a pack of 20 on a JET, eager to help students find the right fit and point them in a direction of another school if we don’t offer a program or sport.

The JET creates a wonderful sense of family that is otherwise impossible to find during the lonely travel season. I mean, where else can you get dropped off at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, strike the triumphant pose from Rocky with two dozen others, and then race to the top? The JET also portrays the aspects of a Jesuit institution: community, social interaction, cooperation, and service to others. There’s a reason these traveling bands of admissions counselors don’t much exist outside the Jesuit realm.

So next time a JET is coming to a city near you, don’t be a stranger. Join the Jesuit family.

Zach Wielgus
Admissions Counselor

My High School is Holding a College Fair!

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Great! Here are a few tips that will enhance your college fair experience:

Do Some Research Before the Fair: Find out what colleges/universities will be attending your fair. Poke around on the websites of schools  in which you are interested. This exercise is bound to crank your brain gears and produce some questions for the college representatives.

Represent Yourself and Your School Well: Many of the college representatives have come a long way and look forward to meeting bright, eager students. So take the time to shake the representative’s hand, look him/her in the eye, introduce yourself, and ask those brilliant questions that you recently thought up. Remember – there is no such thing as a bad question. You will spend the next four years of your life at this school; you should make the effort to know as much as you can about it.

Make the Experience Count: You put in the time researching and visiting the collegerepresentative, now make sure you get credit for it.   Fill out any forms or cards the representative might have on his/her table. Often, these forms/cards will be placed in your admissions file and will be reviewed during the admissions process. Do not miss out on this opportunity to demonstrate interest in each and every school you might be attending in the not-so-distant future.

Dan Weagle ‘08

Admissions Counselor

The College Fair: Where Do I Start?

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

NicoleZervos.BLOG2This past week, I’ve been doing a few college fairs at high schools and at national events. College fairs are a good way to start seeing what types of colleges are out there, but they can also be extremely overwhelming. Students often come up to our table and not know what to do or say. I thought I’d share a few pointers to get you started:

 

 

  • Know that we’re here to talk to you. Our job as Admissions Counselors is to talk to students about our institutions. Don’t be afraid to approach us. We’re all friendly people and we want to tell you why our college is the place for you.

 

  • It’s OK if you don’t know anything about the school. One of my favorite parts of college fairs is talking to students who know nothing about Holy Cross. Often, by the time we’re through talking, they’re signing up for the mailing list and excited to come for a campus tour.

 

  • Go beyond asking about the numbers. While it’s ok to ask about average GPA or test scores, that type of information is easily accessible on the internet or in a school’s literature. Try to make your questions as specific as possible. Ask what makes an application successful or find out what campus life is like, how well the professors interact with students, if internships are offered, etc.  

 

  • Filling out the card does matter. A lot of students who are already on our mailing list ask if they need to fill out an inquiry card. While this is not the case at all schools, we do keep track of the type of contact you’ve made with Holy Cross. We want to give you credit for putting in the effort to talk to us at a fair. Printing up pre-made labels is a quick way to avoid writer’s cramp at college fairs.

 

If you see me at a college fair this spring or next fall, don’t be afraid to stop by and say hi! Ask me a question and I’ll be more than happy to answer.

 

Nicole Zervos ’09

Admissions Counselor