Posts Tagged ‘travel’

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

You’ve Been on the Road Too Long When…

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

As an admissions staff, we criss-crossed the country this fall, meeting with students while visiting over 1,000 high schools. For many of us, visiting with students in their hometowns is a highlight of this job but it can be exhausting. Here’s how you know you’ve been on the road too long:

-Running low on toiletries, you go MacGyver with office supplies. Paper clips to hold your hair back? More than once.

-Your steady diet of comfort food – grilled cheese, French onion soup, buffalo tenders , etc. – has literally SPLIT your favorite business casual slacks.

-You meet someone in line at the Panera and your first question is “So what are you thinking about studying?”

-Your relationship with your GPS (Jennifer) has grown so rocky that you start giving her time-outs in the glove compartment.

It’s a good thing we’re home…

Julia Sanders
Assistant Director of Admissions

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

Interviewing Students Throughout the Country

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

During the fall months, as we travel around the country meeting with prospective students at various high schools, we also have the chance to offer interview nights in several cities. Often times, these interview nights will be hosted by an admissions counselor but may include the opportunity for interested students to meet with alumni who now live in their home state.

This past week, I was fortunate enough to meet with several high school students in Milwaukee and Chicago. As admissions counselors, we can learn a lot from your application file – but nothing will tell us more about who you are than an interview. Interviews are a great way to learn more about a candidate – to get a feel for what they’re looking for in a college, what dreams/aspirations they have, and what they’ve been involved with during their high school years. I love meeting with students and learning more about what makes you, you.

If you haven’t already had an interview, I’d encourage you to think about scheduling one. They’re painless, I promise! We just to get to know you better, and to add another dimension to your application.

Signing up has never been easier! If you’re interested in scheduling an interview for one of our off campus interview nights, please fill out our form online and someone from our office will be in touch to assign you a time slot.

We look forward to meeting you!

Diane Soboski
Assistant 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