Posts Tagged ‘high school visit’

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)

Cheers to our Admissions Ambassadors!

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

As my colleague tweeted earlier this month, 50 students will be spending part of their winter break visiting their former high schools as a way to help promote the College!  We in Admissions are so fortunate to have many great volunteers helping us.  Students serve as greeters in the waiting room talking to prospective students and their families; as tour guides trekking across campus with large groups of visitors; and now as ambassadors speaking to college counselors and students at their old high schools.  I wanted to share with you some of the responses that we received from students applying to participate in the admissions ambassador program.  On the maps below I have marked the ambassadors’ home states and countries!

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student from Illinois: In just a few semesters, Holy Cross has challenged me academically and personally, pushing me to discover who I am, reflect upon what I want to be in the world, and search what I can do for those most in need. I have found on Mount St. James a tight-knit community and a supportive, warm environment.

student from Minnesota: Not only has living on the East Coast…been a great learning and cultural experience, but I have also come to appreciate all of the aspects that make a Holy Cross education so worthwhile: small class sizes, diverse subjects, close relationships with professors, undergraduate research, and most importantly, a commitment to cultivating “men and women for and with others.”

student from Texas: Holy Cross has given me opportunities that I never imagined I would have. I will be studying abroad in Argentina in the spring, I participate in psychology research, I made m[y] own student organization, and I have met and dined with physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

student from Arkansas: I have loved living in a new part of the country, getting to travel around the Northeast, go to a college that has rigorous academics, play volleyball with my best friends while representing the college, and so much more.

student from Georgia: Since coming to Holy Cross, I have risen through the ranks of The Crusader and will be one of the Co-Editor-in-Chiefs next semester. Also, I have strengthened my spiritual life while serving as the Communion Ministry Coordinator as well as participating in immersion trips. My love for biology has been strengthened through on-campus research investigating diabetes–the skills I acquired…helped me land an internship over the past summer…at Emory University Medical School.

student from Washington: I have been exposed to many different fields in my studies, but all of these challenge you to develop your ability to reason, write, and express yourself.  Furthermore, my experience in the Washington Semester was invaluable.  Not only was I able to apply my classroom knowledge in a professional capacity at the State Department, but I was able to interact with policymakers, United States Senators, and Supreme Court Justices.

student from China: Because I am an international student and an ESL as well, I got extra help on my writing from professors and writer’s workshop. I felt like HC really cares about its students. In this semester, I met with my peer mentor…once a week, my advisor…twice a month,…and [my] class dean once a month. [They] not only cared about my life [at Holy Cross], but also they provided constructive suggestions.

student from Japan: During classes which revolved heavily around student and faculty discussions, from my psych class to even class about Buddhism, there were plenty moments where I was able to offer an unique set of perspectives, just because I grew up in a completely different kind of society with differing tradition, values, and identity. I strongly believe that with the rise of transparency and globalization, willingness to suspend your ideology and values while trying to understand the complete opposite of it is an important skill to have…My time at Holy Cross has been a wonderful one so far, and I’m very proud to be here.

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

 

Travel Season

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

To those of us that work in admissions, the time of year commonly referred to as “autumn,” means one thing alone: travel season.   At this time of year, my staff and I are dispersed across the country (and abroad!) visiting high schools, attending college fairs, interviewing prospective students,  and hosting receptions and information sessions. The activities and events vary depending on what part of the country we are visiting, but the goal is fundamentally the same: to help students, counselors and parents understand the unique educational experience available at Holy Cross.

To many,  the idea of travel sounds…well…sort of glamorous.  We fly around the country, stay in nice hotels and eat out…a lot.   And when people hear the places I visit (Florida and Puerto Rico),  they have a hard time believing that this is really work.   I can just imagine the visuals the more skeptical person might conjure up: lounge chair by the pool with a cool drink garnished with a colorful paper umbrella in hand.  Well, I am here to report that no matter how exotic the territory may sound, the travel experience differs little from the more local (some might say mundane) areas. We meet some great students, exchange information with guidance counselors, and spend a lot of time in the car. Granted, my territories are warmer, so while I don’t worry about snow storms, I do have the occasional hurricane warning with which to contend. In the end, it is all about spreading the word about Holy Cross, no matter the location.

And I do love spreading the word.

Ann McDermott

Director of Admissions

On the Road Again…

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

When I was growing up, I was always the child who was overly excited for the summer to come to an end and the school year to begin again. The night before my first day, you could always find me choosing my outfit carefully, laying it out on my whicker rocking chair and making sure that every pencil, pen, notebook and binder were in their precise place in my blue L.L. Bean backpack. Although those days are long gone, every September, I still become a bit nostalgic for those magical first days of school.

Even though I no longer have those first days of school to look forward to, I am fortunate enough to visit high school students that do. Although I no longer have to make sure I am at the bus stop on time, I do have to make sure I arrive at my high school visit according to schedule. Before my first days of travel season, I still go through the same routine of choosing my outfits carefully (there is only so much space in my luggage), laying out all the things I need (a good book, my iPod, and of course my GPS to navigate my way through unknown territory), and making sure that every Holy Cross pen, inquiry card, banner and brochure is in its precise place in my black travel bag.  As I go through this yearly routine, I cannot help to feel the same excitement as I did back then at the upcoming days, particularly because I am looking forward to meeting all of you.

Please feel free to visit our website to learn more about Holy Cross visiting your high school this fall.

Lauren Thornton

Assistant Director of Admissions

Coming Soon to a City Near You!

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

diane-sIt’s that time of year again! The warm temperatures are dropping, students are heading back to school, and admissions counselors are packing up their bags and getting ready to hit the road to meet prospective students all over the country.  I often think about how similar the fall season is for high school students and admissions staff. As you all are putting together binders for your classes, meeting new teachers, and mapping out the fastest route from gym to History, we’re doing very similar tasks. I just recently put together my travel binder for the season, I’ll be meeting new guidance counselors that I’ll be working with this year, and I too am trying to plan the quickest way to get from one school to another so that I can meet as many of you as possible in my travels this fall.

We can’t get to every high school, but we do our best to span a large part of the country. You can see what schools we’ve already committed to visiting this year on our Web site. Again, just as your schedule will be changing over the next few weeks while you struggle to fit in every class and extra-curricular you want to do, we too are continuously changing schedules to try to accommodate as many schools as we can. Please check with your guidance department as the date of our visit approaches,  and make sure that our schedules are aligned.

We know this is a busy time, but remember as you run from one class to another, hoping to sneak in before the bell, that somewhere there is an admissions counselor scrambling to get to their next visit on time and hoping that their GPS will hold a signal long enough to get them there. Best of luck as you begin your new school year; and we look forward to meeting you!

Diane Soboski
Assistant Director of Admissions

Planning our Admissions Travel

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

amandaSo it’s July and while you’re (we hope) sitting by the pool enjoying your summer break, we’re here in the office thinking about your college applications.  Yes, we’re already planning for next year.  Over the past few weeks we have begun planning our fall travel schedules.  We put a lot of thought into what schools we will be visiting.  We consider where we have visited in past years, where we receive applications from, and also where we would like to build awareness about Holy Cross.  After much deliberating, scheduling and rescheduling,  each counselor will have approximately a seven week itinerary of high schools, community based agencies and college fairs to attend spanning from September to November.  We can’t always visit every school or attend every event we would like but we do our best to fit everything in.  In August,  our schedules will be posted on the web page, so be sure to check that out to see when we’ll be in your area.  We’ll see you on the road this fall!

Amanda Juriansz
Assistant Director of Community Outreach