It's been an incredible year here in the Olin Admission office. We've seen a lot of colleagues go, with Charlie retiring after nearly 15 years, Emily moving on to the west coast with her family, and Aarti transitioning to being a full member of PGP (once she comes back from her maternity leave!) The newest members of the team, Emily and Emily (they're going to have to figure something out here soon) have been settling in extremely well. With their new perspectives, we've been refreshing all kinds of assumptions around the office, and have started to lay out a project plan that I know is going to make this office more efficient and effective. It's really great to see!
Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to participate in this exciting sweep for much longer. I've been working at Olin for slightly less than a year now, so my student visa work extension is coming to an end. I'm heading back to Canada at the end of the month, and this week was my last in the office. After discovering Olin and applying in 2008, arriving in 2009, and graduating in 2014, I'm leaving for good at long last, in 2015. It's been quite a run!
If anyone gets too sad, Ben and Jerry will be there for emotional support.
Sometimes I think about how much has changed at Olin during my years here. The Olin Collaboratory arose out of necessity, and has since become the cornerstone of Olin's mission-oriented activity. A ton of effort was put into creating an alternate capstone experience to SCOPE, ADE. In its early iterations, it was a little unpredictable, but now it's an enticing and entirely sound option for seniors to consider! Likewise, the math and entrepreneurship offerings have undergone significant analysis and revision, as has the First Year curriculum as a whole. These innovations were welcome and well executed. And looking back at earlier iterations feels like reading creative writing assignments from high school: They're the best we could to at the time, but my goodness have we learned so much since then! Things are always getting better around here, and we've even recognized the importance of being intentional about all things as we've matured, so now the Curricular Innovation Committee has ownership of setting larger-scale innovation projects in motion.
Personally, I led many years of the Design Challenge (actually traveling to one of our partner institutions in El Paso to help them run their own Candidates' Weekend), chaired the student activities committee for three semesters, helped found and then run Build Day, and got to be an R2 my senior year, in addition to earning an engineering degree while working on education placements and classes during my time at Olin. This past year, in order to help in the search for my replacement, I made a chart of how I spent my time:
Yes, these tasks add up to more than 100% in January. It was a challenging month.
In terms of the community experience, I've seen two overhauls of student government (CORe); a revision of the honor code; the founding and folding of countless clubs; the institutionalization of many new academic teams, and community organizations. It's been quite the roller coaster ride. I've watched the Alumni community grow from roughly 250 to nearly 800 human beings, seen faculty and staff come and go, and I've changed from prospie to candidate to admitted student, to first year, sophomore, leave of absence, junior, senior (I called those my final two semesters 'super senior' and 'super duper senior'), and finally staff. I feel like I've worn a lot of hats in my time! I've crossed paths with students who graduated in 2009 and who will graduate in 2020, and had the pleasure of meeting older alumni, prospective applicants, employees, cabinet members, and others in between.
My orientation team outside Faneuil Hall
Olin has been my home and my life for so many years, and things are going to be very different, once I leave. But like we always say: The best part about Olin is the people, and I know that the connections I've made here - the people who have had such an enormous influence on me - they're not going away any time soon. We'll visit again; we'll keep in touch. Thank you for everything. I feel so fortunate to know you all.
And anyhow, it's not goodbye... it's see you soon!