Look Forward With Hope

"It wasn't meant to be."

"You'll end up somewhere!"

"You'll have great opportunities somewhere else!"

All of these consolations ring hollow when you've lost something important. For those of you who didn't get admitted to Olin, I'm sorry.

I know that you had your mind made up. I know that you pictured the moment:  the UPS truck pulls up and the smiling driver hands you the package and your mom screams and your dad pats you on the back. Maybe the dog barks because he knows too; there's something to be excited about. Now the regular USPS man comes with the regular mail, wrapped up in the shell of supermarket circulars and glossy postcards from local realtors- a thin, white envelope.

I'm sorry.

We met you at Candidates' Weekend. We heard about your dreams, your friends, your failures. We urged you to open up and be yourself. You were. And you were wonderful. Every single one of you was perfect, in your own way. And you will continue to be perfect, forever. When you're 50 years old and you think back on your own regrets you aren't going to even think about what college you didn't get into. You're going to think about how you should have joined the choir, or how you should have asked that girl on a date, or why didn't you go to that dance, and it is going to be the little things that passed you by silently that will call to you in the night. The Big-Things-That-Everyone-Cares-About aren't going to be important anymore. The important things will be right in front of you, and stretching ahead of you into the future.

Post-CW!

Candidates' Weekends are over, and Acceptance Committee has commenced (and uncommenced!). We've officially decided on the Class of 2018. And wow, WOW, what a whirlwind it's been.

Again, if it's seemed like there's been radio silence from us, chalk it up to the crazy number of applicants this year. Also, blame it on the weather. We've had a snow day almost every single week since our application deadline on January 3rd (in fact, we had a snow day ON January 3rd). It's been reaaaaallllly crazy around here, and all in all, the combined factors of more applicants + snow days meant that we just had fewer days to manage our priorities.

That being said, Candidates' Weekend came together beautifully this year. We were lucky enough to avoid giant blizzards on almost all three weekends (although the snow dump on Saturday on CW1 almost gave me a heart attack). But, in true Olin form, when the snow started coming down, all the Candidates ran outside and had a massive snowball fight. Love you guys so much.

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I got to interview Candidates twice this year, and... wow. You guys. You blew me away. I know that I say this every year, but really. It's one thing to read your applications and marvel at your accomplishments on paper, and it's another thing entirely to meet you and your families, to talk with you about your passions, and to see you interacting with each other. It's exciting on an entirely different level.

Which, of course, made Acceptance Committee ten times harder. I can't begin to express how superb you guys are, and having to pick a class out of all the phenomenal Candidates that I met was insanely difficult. You guys will get your decisions around the end of March - we will keep you posted on definite times and dates. But again, I can't say enough how fantastic it was to meet you all. Thanks for being awesome, and for making my job so much fun.

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Pre-Application Deadline Checklist

We're coming up on another extremely busy application season at Olin. As many of you saw in our Facebook posts, we've already taken bets on the number of applications we'll see this year, and I'm putting my money on a record year! Of course, the flip side is that with that record number of applications, there will be lots of extra-long nights where I'm up on the couch reading applications (Drinking a whole tub of Trader Joe's hot cocoa. Eating cake. So much cake.). But this is the fun part of the process! This is where we get to learn all about you, dear applicants.

A few words of advice as you're crossing your T's, dotting your I's, and getting ready to hit that big ol' SUBMIT button on the Common App.

  • Did you spell-check your entire application? Oh, you did? Oh, you did twice? Go back and do it again. Trust me on this one.

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My applikation is abosltuely perfect.

  • It is always a little bit off-putting when we read things like "I couldn't imagine a school that's more perfect for me than [MIT] [Harvey Mudd] [CalTech] [University of Texas] [Ringling Brothers Clown College]. If you're writing an essay about why you want to go to Olin, make sure you put in Olin's name.

youmakemesadgif.gifWe know you're probably applying to ten other schools. But tell us you love us the best!

  • Make sure you spend a good amount of time describing your activities to us. Nothing is more difficult to read than a vague list of things you did in high school (i.e. "music - 4 hours a week"). We want to know what you did with your time! Throw us a bone here.

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  • Extra recommendations - our rule of thumb is "If it provides perspective about you that your teachers cannot and it will really enhance your application, send it along." However, if we get six extra recommendation letters in your application, that's a wee bit extraneous.

throwingpaper.gif20 recs? Really!?

  • Your essays give us insight into your personality. We decide if we want that personality to be a part of the Olin community. Don't blow off your essays.

dog typing.gifWe can tell when you wrote your essay three minutes before the deadline.

  • Oh, you're done with your application? You've followed all my suggestions? Go spell-check again.

fine.gifAgain... trust us.

 

In all seriousness though, the applications we've received so far have been fabulous, and we're more excited than ever for this application season. So, good luck to the lot of you, and happy holidays from the Office of Admission!

Year Anniversary

Guys guys guys... today is an extremely exciting day! Why, Kate? you may be asking. The answer, of course, is that today is my ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY AT OLIN.

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I would like a confetti cannon, please.

 

I can't even describe how exciting this is for me, or how wonderful the past year has been in the Office of Admission. Sure, there are the same ups-and-downs that come with any admissions-related job (the application-reading until your sight get blurry, the super-intense family that interrupts your info session, the barrage of emails between December 1st and January 1st from panicked applicants). But overall, this past year has been one that is full of unbelievable rewards and meaningful work. I wanted to list a few of my highlights for you!

Candidates Weekend - From the first day that I started at Olin, and even before, I knew about Candidates Weekend. From mid-January until February 16th, 2013, I actually heard of little else. And how do I describe how exciting that first weekend was for me? I finished the weekend absolutely exhausted, but I felt completely ebullient. I had never worked at a school where the entire community rallied in such a positive and passionate way to welcome new prospective students into the fold. It was inspiring. The energy, the sheer excitement of the prospies, as well as the Olin community, was evident throughout all three Candidates Weekends, and when I finished in March, I knew without a doubt why people visit and fall in love with the school. I too fell in love with the school (all over again).

My first info session - Full disclosure: my first info session was a bit of a disaster. I had to fill in last-minute due to an illness in the office, and I was so nervous that my hands were shaking. I hadn't practiced, and I was felt so unprepared that I forgot which Powerpoint slides came next. But I got up in front of a crowd of approximately twenty-five people, and I just did it. And you know what? Even though I may have spoken too fast, and I probably said "basically" about thirty-seven times (a nervous verbal tic), it went off without a hitch! I didn't fall on the floor in shock, I didn't give completely incorrect facts ("Yes, we boast three thousand students at Olin and were founded in 1936"), and the families enjoyed their time. And after that first info session, every single one got easier. I certainly had things that I worked on, and I practiced my tail off to make sure that the presentation I was delivering was polished and precise. But, that first nervous, freaky info session holds a special place in my heart!

FIRST Robotics World Championship - Traveling to St. Louis to the FIRST World Championship was AWESOME. Holy smokes, so much fun from start to finish. It was one of those events where there was so much energy around that I stood on my feet for about ten hours straight and never once felt tired. I also met so many fantastic prospies... and I got to try St. Louis' famous butter cake, which was a transcendent life experience.

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First week of classes, Fall 2013 - Seeing all the freshmen on campus after the summer was one of the best experiences ever. The Class of 2017 was the first class that I evaluated at Olin, and by the end of Candidates Weekend and April Visits, I felt like I knew them all so well. That's why, when they finally arrived on campus and I watched them become part of the official Olin community, the whole year really came together for me. All the application reading, the drives to the airports, the late nights in February and March... it was so absolutely worth it to see the excited faces of our incoming freshmen.

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It's been a year of wonderful, completely Olin-esque experiences. Thank you guys for all being so awesome and welcoming to me: here's to many more year anniversaries in the Office of Admission!

Sneak Peek

23 days into September, and the Office of Admission has gone into hyper-drive. It's amazing, the difference that a scant three weeks can make on our day-to-day schedule. At the beginning of September, we were winding down from a lovely summer, where we were lucky to meet with visitors and prospective Oliners almost every day.

Now, we're suddenly going 100 miles a minute... but in a good way! There are so many fantastic projects that I've been working on over the past few weeks, and it feels good to be busier than ever. And of course, we're always prepping for the new applicants to come in while working on everything else.

To give you guys a glimpse into "What Goes On In Admissions", I'll clue you in to the details of two of the projects I've been devoting my time and energy to.

 

Alumni Resource List -

Many of you may have seen this posted on our Facebook page and Twitter feed (if you're not following us yet, you can do so here and here!) and this is one of the projects that I'm most proud of. When I started last fall, I became the Coordinator for the Student Recruiting Program, which utilizes parents of current students, as well as alumni, to help us out with recruiting efforts. They will attend college fairs on our behalf, reach out to new parents or prospective students, and they're the alumni and parents that you see at events like Fall Open House and Candidates Weekend. For a while now, we've wanted to involve more alumni in our recruiting efforts. Hence, the newly launched Alumni Resource List! Here, you can reach out to one of fifty-seven alumni (and counting!) to ask any student life-related questions that you may have. The alumni span from our first graduating class (2006) to recent grads (2013), and they come from a variety of geographical locations. They also represent diverse employment opportunities post-Olin!

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So please, if you're a prospie and you want some insider perspective on life at Olin, feel free to reach out to one of these faaaabulous alumni. They're waiting for your email! You can find the alumni resource list: http://www.olin.edu/admission/alumniresourcelist.aspx

 

OLINsider blog -

The OLINsider blog is our student-run blog that gives an up-close-and-personal view into life at Olin. I'm sure many of you have seen a post or two! In the past, the OLINsider has been run by four or five student bloggers who posted regularly. This year, we wanted to shake things up a bit and give more students the chance to let their voices be heard on the blog. Because, hey, the more perspective the better, right? So we sent out an email to the entire student body asking for volunteer bloggers. For about fifteen minutes, no new emails. Then, the volunteer emails started pouring in.


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So this year, if you've kept up to speed with the OLINsider, you'll know that we've had about six different bloggers post already... and we'll be having dozens more who will be sharing their stories throughout the year. We'll also have new content every few days, as opposed to ever week (in general, new posts will come out on Tuesdays, Fridays, and some Sundays). The more diversity of opinions that we can share, the more well-rounded your view of Olin!

If you haven't checked out the OLINsider posts yet, you can follow them here: http://blogs.olin.edu/studentblog/

 

So that's a little sneak peek into the Office of Admission, and the projects we've been putting together! We're right on the cusp of application season, when we'll be running around like nutcases. 'Til then, stay tuned!

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