Oberlin Blogs

Summer Duties

July 22, 2009

Elizabeth Houston ’06

I've been getting questions from some of my friends lately asking what the Admissions Office is up to during the summer, so I thought you might be curious, too. It's pretty clear to everyone that we read applications and make admissions decisions throughout the spring semester, and people understand when we explain that we spend much of the fall traveling and recruiting prospective students. But that leaves the summer as wide open with no obvious Admissions responsibilities. Here's what I've been telling people:

During the summer, we still have many visitors to campus, so we continue with all of our visitor-related job responsibilities, such as holding information sessions, conducting interviews, and answering questions. You know, all of those general small things that add up to being an admissions counselor. In addition, we've been hosting special Interview Days that have taken up all of our time on Fridays. We're also looking forward and planning fall travel. But the bulk of our time is spent on behind-the-scenes projects that we simply don't have time to work on during the rest of the school year.

As an example, this morning I:
--set up an email to go out to all incoming students (I'm in charge of all our major email communications--remember the one you got over the weekend on summer science research? That was from me.)
--planned for Take Oberlin Home, a program where current students visit their high schools to talk about Oberlin
--attended a meeting to discuss ways to improve our online registration process for campus visits

Other major projects I've got going right now include replacing the pre-printed information sheets currently available in our lobby with a print-on-demand station, figuring out the best ways to publicize the awesomeness of our science departments over the next year, and making some improvements to our Admissions website (have you seen our new visit calendar? It's cool! Coming soon: an FAQ page, and a reorganization of our home page). Every admissions staff member has different areas of specialization and responsibility within our office, but we all manage to find plenty of things to occupy our time (Jesse, for example, has been building new databases for much of the summer).

Does that sound like enough work to you? If not, please remember that we also get some vacation time! Because of how busy we are during the rest of the year, summer is one of the best times for us to take some time off and use up our vacation days. Lately, it seems like about a quarter of our staff has been out of the office on any given day. I'll be vacating the office myself for a week or so in mid-August. I'm thinking it's going to be a camping trip somewhere within a day's drive--any suggestions?

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