With Candidates' Weekends long behind us and May 1st around the corner, the Olin admission office is once again shifting gears. I have to say, this January was one of the busiest times of my life. February was one of the most exhausting. But while March was full of difficult emotional decisions, April in admissions has a different character entirely. Decision letters were mailed out before the month began, and since then, emails and phone calls have been pouring in. It seems a big part of the job these days is to reassure admitted students and their families that the things they've learned about Olin are, in fact, true. We're hearing back from students in concrete ways as well! We've seen deposits, defers, and declines. It's thrilling to be able to go to our list and highlight each new enrollee as they declare! For some, this part was a no-brainer. For others, April has been a month of weighing benefits, splitting hairs, and agonizing over opportunities. We've extended the opportunity to some admitted students, who needed a second look, to come for an overnight 'admitted student visit'. They stayed in the dorms, sat in on classes, and met/discussed with a wide range of Oliners in order to help make their decision.
It's coming up on the time to "fish or cut bait," as our Dean of Student Affairs sometimes says. May 1st is the decision deadline, and we're keeping a close eye on the numbers so that we can enroll an 84-student class precisely. The Office of Student Affairs would have other words for us if we sent them too many students and fill the dorms, or too few to fulfill their our responsibility to the community. So we need to be judicious yet decisive when taking students off the wait list. It's an artful act of threading the needle, and I'm glad we can count on Charlie to do it. We're all very much looking forward to meeting the class of 2019!
But besides answering questions, hosting visitors, and waiting, what have we been doing this past month?
Well, as you know, we have a very small office. We're "all hands on deck" for the first quarter of the year, so when we get a moment of relief, sometimes this happens
Everybody but me was out sick, with family, or studying!
Right at the beginning of the month, this info-session guest got quite a few members of the team excited...
Until they remembered the date
I participated in community events like Spirit Week
"Dress like Charlie Nolan" day
I joined students, staff, and alumni for the spring Ski/Snowboard outing
I led a discussion on the Admission process at an event sponsored by the Grand Challenge Scholars Program
Important topic, but very casual setting
Finally: We don't travel for the most part, but there are a few exceptions. In April, the FIRST Championships take place in St. Louis. This year, I'm heading out there along with 4 Olin students, to participate in one of the largest robotics events in the world! Olin and FIRST have a lot in common with one another - our mission and methods and members have a lot of overlap. I'm looking forward to meeting some future Oliners there!
Besides that, I've been working on updating the self-guided tour, editing the Olin-specific questions on the Common Application, and working with our student Volunteer Coordinators to effectively transition their jobs to their successors. It's fun to play this different role in the Olin community... and let me tell you: It is such a relief to not have finals or final project creeping up on me in the coming weeks. Ahh, this is the life.