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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
Empty pita pocket induces tears.
That's all I got, peeps. Until next time!