Guys guys guys... today is an extremely exciting day! Why, Kate? you may be asking. The answer, of course, is that today is my ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY AT OLIN.
I would like a confetti cannon, please.
I can't even describe how exciting this is for me, or how wonderful the past year has been in the Office of Admission. Sure, there are the same ups-and-downs that come with any admissions-related job (the application-reading until your sight get blurry, the super-intense family that interrupts your info session, the barrage of emails between December 1st and January 1st from panicked applicants). But overall, this past year has been one that is full of unbelievable rewards and meaningful work. I wanted to list a few of my highlights for you!
Candidates Weekend - From the first day that I started at Olin, and even before, I knew about Candidates Weekend. From mid-January until February 16th, 2013, I actually heard of little else. And how do I describe how exciting that first weekend was for me? I finished the weekend absolutely exhausted, but I felt completely ebullient. I had never worked at a school where the entire community rallied in such a positive and passionate way to welcome new prospective students into the fold. It was inspiring. The energy, the sheer excitement of the prospies, as well as the Olin community, was evident throughout all three Candidates Weekends, and when I finished in March, I knew without a doubt why people visit and fall in love with the school. I too fell in love with the school (all over again).
My first info session - Full disclosure: my first info session was a bit of a disaster. I had to fill in last-minute due to an illness in the office, and I was so nervous that my hands were shaking. I hadn't practiced, and I was felt so unprepared that I forgot which Powerpoint slides came next. But I got up in front of a crowd of approximately twenty-five people, and I just did it. And you know what? Even though I may have spoken too fast, and I probably said "basically" about thirty-seven times (a nervous verbal tic), it went off without a hitch! I didn't fall on the floor in shock, I didn't give completely incorrect facts ("Yes, we boast three thousand students at Olin and were founded in 1936"), and the families enjoyed their time. And after that first info session, every single one got easier. I certainly had things that I worked on, and I practiced my tail off to make sure that the presentation I was delivering was polished and precise. But, that first nervous, freaky info session holds a special place in my heart!
FIRST Robotics World Championship - Traveling to St. Louis to the FIRST World Championship was AWESOME. Holy smokes, so much fun from start to finish. It was one of those events where there was so much energy around that I stood on my feet for about ten hours straight and never once felt tired. I also met so many fantastic prospies... and I got to try St. Louis' famous butter cake, which was a transcendent life experience.
First week of classes, Fall 2013 - Seeing all the freshmen on campus after the summer was one of the best experiences ever. The Class of 2017 was the first class that I evaluated at Olin, and by the end of Candidates Weekend and April Visits, I felt like I knew them all so well. That's why, when they finally arrived on campus and I watched them become part of the official Olin community, the whole year really came together for me. All the application reading, the drives to the airports, the late nights in February and March... it was so absolutely worth it to see the excited faces of our incoming freshmen.
It's been a year of wonderful, completely Olin-esque experiences. Thank you guys for all being so awesome and welcoming to me: here's to many more year anniversaries in the Office of Admission!