February 2010 Archives

Candidates' Weekends FAQ

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Hello Olin Candidates!
   We hope that you are getting excited about your upcoming trip to Olin! We are very busy getting ready for these massive events. As we have said before, Candidates' Weekend requires the input and energy of every single Olin community member. Our faculty, staff, students, alumni and parents all join forces to put on a very busy two days for you. Here are some reminders, as well as some clarifying information.

  • Submit your travel plans as soon as you know them, especially students who are traveling alone! Laura Cotten needs to set up the shuttles that will transport you to and from Logan airport, so the sooner she has your flight information, the better.
  • Students who are traveling alone and who would like to request a roommate at the Babson Executive Conference Center should email Laura directly. (that's laura.cotten@olin.edu)
  • EVERYONE needs to submit their travel plans by Monday!
  • EVERYONE needs to submit their medical and photo release forms by Monday! You can mail them, fax them (781-292-2210) or scan them and email them to caitlin.clark@olin.edu
  • Send your bio (follow directions below) to Johannes Santen at olincollegeCW10@gmail.com
      • Have a color photo of yourself scanned and sent as a JPEG
      • The JPEG file name should be in the following format: Last name_First name.jpg (i.e. Smith_Chris.jpg)
      • Compose a statement about yourself that is 20 (or fewer) words.Other Candidates have sent in lists of interests, poems about themselves, or favorite quotes. Feel free to be as creative as you want, so long as you meet the word limit.
      • Send your email with your full name, hometown, high school and 20 word description in the body, and the JPEG as an attachment.
      • This scanned image/photo does not have to be a portrait, but you must be clearly recognizable and the picture must be suitable for a PowerPoint presentation (group shots are not acceptable).
  • Students who are coming to the first weekend (February 19-20) should work on their name tags.(use the 3''x4'' template we sent you in your packet)

  • I'm traveling with my mother and I'd like to take the Shuttle from the airport. How do I arrange that?
Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to provide transportation for all 270 Candidates plus their families. We reserve the Shuttles for students who are traveling alone ONLY. They are our priority, because they and their parents are relying on us to provide a safe and seamless experience while they are visiting Olin. If you are nervous about driving in Boston, we recommend taking a cab out to the Babson Executive Conference Center, and staying there during the Candidates' Weekend. Olin is a 10-minute walk from the BECC, and we will have students escorting guests back and forth throughout the weekend.

  • I'm traveling alone from the West Coast and the only flight that works for me arrives on Thursday night. What do I do?!
Not to worry! We suspect that there will be a number of you in this situation. We will arrange a Thursday night Shuttle for students who are traveling alone. The Babson Executive Conference Center does have some rooms set aside for Thursday nights, so you should not have a problem getting a reservation.

  • What time does the event end on Saturday?
The mandatory portions of the weekends are the interviews, and these wrap up by 5:30pm. You are welcome to leave at that point if your family needs to get on the road. Following the end of the interviews, there will be admission presentation by Dean Nolan, a particularly yummy dinner in the Dining Hall, a performance by the Olin Fire Arts Club, and an open house in one of the residence halls. Candidates tend to enjoy the Saturday night activities, because it gives them a chance to bond with each other and our current students.

  • What should I wear to my interview? Do I need to bring anything?
Just wear your normal clothes! You will be receiving a Candidates' Weekend t-shirt when you arrive, and many students choose to wear these on Saturday, though it is certainly not required! We are not expecting formal attire of any sort, and the interviewers themselves will be casually dressed. Some of our crazier students will even be in flip-flops. You do not need to bring anything to your interview, just yourself!

Questions? Concerns? Please email us directly or call 781-292-2222!


The thin letter


This is, by far, one of the hardest parts of our jobs.

After spending the last 3 weeks poring over essays and transcripts, recommendations and resumes, DVDs and newspaper clippings, we had to narrow the field down to 270 Candidates.

There are hundreds of truly deserving candidates.

There are hundreds of students who could be amazing contributors to the Olin Community.

You are all talented and incredible people.

As trite as it may sound, we wish we could bring you all to Candidates' Weekends. But being the tiny institution that we are, we can only bring about 270 to campus.

We know many of you would like to know the EXACT reason why you were not invited to Candidates' Weekend. And yet, as unsatisfying as it may be to you, it ultimately boils down to the numbers... 270 spots waiting to be filled by hundreds of talented, extraordinary people. We agonized over these decisions - there were fights and arguments, and even some marathon team meetings. Please know that there was nothing "lacking" in you or your application. The letter from us should have no bearing on how you see yourself as a student or a person. In the end, it isn't about what you "didn't do" or could have "done better" but that there are just too many terrific students applying for only a handful of spots.

We hope that others are telling you this as well: you will have plenty of great college options this year. :) Next August you will be schlepping your laundry basket and your computer into a dorm room somewhere, and you will embark on a fun and exciting four-year journey. You will stay up late having philosophical discussions about crunchy Cheetos vs. puffy Cheetos and you will learn the true meaning of the "all-nighter." It will be fun, and you will be happy. It's hard to picture it now, but take it from us...your determination and hard work are what make you successful in life, not where you go to college for four years.

Take the same passion for learning that you shared with us, and carry it with you, no matter where you go in life. It will serve you well, and in the end, that's way more important than a letter from a college.

Stay well, and best wishes from the entire Olin Admission Team.

~Charlie, Caitlin, Emily, Laura, Susie and Jessica

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