Introducing Emma Dumont, Class of 2019

We're proud to share the first in a sequence of gap year blog posts from a few students who will be joining the class of 2019!

Hello! My name is Emma Dumont and I'm extremely proud and excited to say that I will be joining the Olin College of Engineering class of 2019!  During my gap year, I will be will be working, traveling for work, mentoring my FIRST Robotics FRC team and advocating for STEM education whenever and wherever I can. 

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First, let me tell you about FRC Robotics Team 980 - the Thunderbots.  Robotics has been a huge part of my life for the past 4 years.  I was team lead for fabrication, team captain, robot driver, national award finalist (Dean's list) and now mentor.  Summer is the off season for my robotics team, but we've been keeping busy none the less.  Recently there have been a lot of new students joining the team, including one of my cousins! When new students come to the team, we like to catch them up as soon as possible.  We are a small team so every student gets cross-trained and I've been teaching the new students how to use different tools and machines in our work room.  The goal is to have all students up to speed by January which is the beginning of the build and competition season. Along with mentoring fabrication, my goals for this upcoming year are to increase my skills in SolidWorks(CAD) and to assist the controls team with C++ programming.

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I couldn't stay away!

Hello everyone!
I'm so excited to be the new Assistant Director of Admissions at Olin! I'm Graham Hooton, and I graduated from Olin College as part of the class of 2014. Yep, that's right. Just a few months ago, I was a student here! Over the summer, this position opened up, and the team here already knew they liked me... and I was in the middle of my job search, so I gladly accepted. It's good to be back!
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I'm the one in the middle

At this point, I've taken part in the admissions process in one way or another since all the way back in 2009. Initially, as a candidate, I was intrigued by the essays, wowed by the publications, and utterly sold on the culture and community. Then, as a student I joined and eventually ran the team that invents the Candidate's Weekend Design Challenge, the team-building exercise that helps make CWs so memorable. But even though I stepped behind the curtain then to see how everything worked, I never expected I'd later step behind the even larger, more official curtain, to join the staff here at Olin College! However, in my time as a student here, I did realize that ultimately, my passion was education, not engineering. One day I plan to teach high school science and technology.

So sure, maybe it's a little peculiar to be a recent grad in this kind of position. But I compare myself to Bruce Willis's character in Armageddon, a professional miner who gets astronaut training in order to lead a team to blow up an asteroid. Would it have been easier to train an astronaut to be a miner? Maybe. But then you don't have a movie. Anyways, in my case, I have all of my years of Olin knowledge and a little astronaut training under my belt.

bruce-willis-armageddon.jpg Come at me, prospective students!

I'm so excited to be working at Olin with this team, these students, and all of you amazing applicants (who seem to get more impressive every year!) You can reach me at Graham.Hooton@olin.edu781-292-2212, or in Milas Hall 111.

A Fond Farewell

Hello OLINformer fans -

This is a bit of a bittersweet post for me, as we head into August of what has been an awesome and exciting summer. I'll be leaving Olin College after August 8th for a new position at Phillips Academy Andover at their Institute for Recruitment of Teachers. It's an awesome opportunity to do more of the things I love (recruiting, admissions, talking, talking, talking) but I will miss what I have come to think of as my Olin family dearly.

martha-doctor-goodbye-hug-o.gifMartha and the Doctor. All the feels.

These past years have been a whirlwind. Olin College is truly the most unique place I've ever worked, and what kept me excited and amped up (especially through the 16-hour-days of Candidates' Weekend) was all of you. Your personalities, your unique skills, your humor, and yes, the firm and irrevocable belief that you will change the world one day.... that's what keeps me going. It's been a privilege and a delight to be part of such a phenomenal institute of higher learning, and to get to know you all.

applause gif.gifYou guys are the best.

Thanks for all that you've done and all that you do. I will miss you all. And of course, feel free to send baked goods ANYTIME to Kate Caulfield, Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers, Phillips Academy Andover, 180 Main Street, Andover MA.

Guest Post - The Final Quarter

We're pleased to bring you a bonus summer guest post from rising senior Kai Austin, 2015:

Well, my junior semester just ended. I have almost 20 literary agent rejection letters for my novel, so I decided to start straight up querying actual publishing companies. I had my first legitimate fever in over 8 years after finals. I just launched the beta for my startup, Wriget (www.wriget.com), an organizational tool designed for writers to keep track of characters and their relationships. I am about to begin my summer internship down at eduCanon. And in the fall I will be starting SCOPE , self-publishing a book of poems/short stories, and teaching my second class at Olin on Mobile Development.

But right now there is only one thing on my mind. Watching graduation, it hit me - next year I will be a senior. A senior! I have still not even accepted the fact that I am a legal adult, and now I am in the final quarter of my undergrad life, about to be thrust out into the vast wide world? It's terrifying!

Part of me is looking back on my time at Olin in regret. All the things I did not do. I could have gotten more involved here. I could have been a better teammate there. Why did I not start that homework earlier? Why did I not wake up when I had the chance? Should have, could have, why, why not, and the whole dance of self-loathing memories can bring along. Then it is all comforted by the fact that hey, I'm not the biggest social butterfly out there. Health reasons, I've had to prioritize sleep. But between classes, clubs, random events of awesome, and my own world of writing, it sums down to one simple question: Am I doing enough?

Am I doing enough for Olin?

When I first found Olin existed, I was dead set on coming here. And it is not to say I do not know what other college types are like. I spent a year at a university with 27,000 students, almost every major you can imagine, a fast track to a graduate program, and an average class size of 250 students. It was honestly a great school! But Olin was the different I was looking for. Small school, check. Awesome people, check. Great scenery, check. Non-standard academics, check. Freedom and opportunity to pursue interests check. All round total epicness - that was not even on my list because I never thought a college like Olin could exist - check. Candidates Weekend, I wanted to tie myself to the columns outside the AC. Olin was the love of my life, my future, my every dream come true.

And now here I am, the summer before my senior year. Being all "adult-like" and hoping I sound like I understand what I am doing. That future is burning away into past memories. Memories I want more than anything to be worth it. Like a ticking clock, I am only becoming more frantic that my time here is running out.

 I do not know where this next year will take me. I do not know where I am going to end up after. I don't know if anyone will ever by my books, or if anyone will ever think my startup is worth it. I still am not entirely sure what I want to do with my life. And that scares me. Olin is my family. Olin is my home. It will always be my family and home. There is only one thing I know:

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Tales from the Road!

Hey there guys! As many of you Facebook followers know, I just returned from a whirlwind three days at the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis, after which I hopped on a quick flight over to Chicago, rented a zippy little car (Not zippy at all. Slow. Slow and trusty), and headed to Aurora, IL for a college fair at Illinois Math and Science Academy. That was a long sentence. And it felt like a long trip! But, it was also so darn awesome to meet so many prospies who were excited about Olin. FIRST is probably my favorite opportunity to travel during the year at Olin. There's such a feeling of heady excitement to the entire event, from when you step off the plane in St. Louis to giant FIRST banners, to the entire town being lit up with robot fever (that's a thing). Every time I'd run to a restaurant to grab a bite to eat, I'd see teams in Viking helmets and capes (and everything in between).

I'm going to recap some of the highlights (and a few low...lights? Downsides? Downsides) from my trip for your enjoyment!

HIGHLIGHTS:

Butter cake. I mentioned it last year, and it goes to the top of the list again. St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake. I'll dream about it for the next six months.

 shaq happy gif.gifButter cake. You guys don't even know.

New Scholarship Row at FIRST. We weren't in the pit this year, and while I thought that might be the pits (HA. HA. Hilarity), it was actually a great location. We got a ton of foot traffic, and the area was super nice to spend an entire two days in. Also, close proximity to the bathrooms =  clutch.

Getting to finally meet Woodie Flowers (who is a Distinguished Partner at Olin). What an amazing person. Amazing!

Hanging out at IMSA. The students there were super-stoked about Olin, and I had some absolutely fantastic conversations about the school with people who had very intriguing and thought-provoking questions. The morning flew by!

The Renaissance Grand had elliptical machines with individual TVs. I know this isn't cutting-edge or anything, but none of my gyms in Boston have this sweet amenity, and getting to watch unlimited amounts of Property Brothers on HGTV was heaven on earth.

brad pitt working out.gifUnlimited HGTV. All my dreams coming true.

Kiki Chandra. Yes, Kiki, you get a mention. Kiki is a current first year at Olin who traveled to FIRST to help out as a mentor with her team, but she also logged serious hours manning the Scholarship Row table with me. And lemme tell you, she is a superstar. There is nothing like perspective from current students to convince prospies to check out Olin, and Kiki is doing some unbelievable research projects that really resonated with the people she talked to! Couldn't have done it without her.

The actual FIRST competitions. Holy smokes. SUCH AMAZING ROBOTS!

science gif.gifROBOTS!

Seeing all our accepted students! SO many of you stopped by the Olin table, either with junior prospies or just to say hi, and it was one of the absolute best parts of the trip. You guys are so excited to be heading to Olin this fall, and seeing your smiling faces (as lame as this sounds) is a constant reminder of all the reasons that I love my job in Admissions.

 

LOWLIGHTS:

Running out of promotional materials. SORRY! Guys, I brought twice as many brochures and inquiry cards as I did last year, and we still ran out at 2 pm on Friday. I'm SORRY! I really truly am! I even handed out my table copy of the Parent Handbook, I was so strapped. So, we apologize.

so it begins.gifProspies made a run on all our brochures!

Riding the wi-fi struggle bus. I guess in Boston, I just take widespread wi-fi availability for granted. Not so much in the Midwest. Checking work email was a monumental task, and I spent a lot of time in the Renaissance Grand lobby huddled on my laptop near the router.

Midwest speed limits. Oh, it ISN'T socially acceptable to go 79 on the highway out here? My bad. But really... my bad.

rage gif.gifGO. FASTER.

Pockets Restaurant in Aurora. They left everything out of my pita pocket, which I only discovered after driving back to the Hampton Inn. Cry me a river, right?

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 Empty pita pocket induces tears.

That's all I got, peeps. Until next time!

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