Well it is that time of year for us. The entire admissions counseling staff will be in committee the rest of the week. Given the timing I it thought it might be best to address some of the questions that people might have about the mystery of “Admissions Committee”. Some people have various thoughts about what we might do while we are in committee all week. Are there people other than admissions counselors in the room? Do you sit in a special room? Do you vote with buzzers? What the heck do you do all day?
While every school does it a bit differently, I wanted to give you a bit of insight about how we “do” committee at WPI. Just so everyone is on the same page, committee is a time for us to talk about applicants, together, as a staff. As for your questions, I will do my best to answer some of the more commonly asked ones. First and foremost, we DO sit in a “special” room and by “special” I mean a conference room. We do NOT get locked up in there but we do spend most of the day together and sometimes the week deliberating cases. As for who is sitting in with us…well I hate to break it to you but it is just the admissions counselors.
Now that we have determined WHERE we sit and WHO is in the room, I can tell you about WHAT it is that we are doing. Each counselor has the ability to present their individual applicants and we take time to discuss. Some of the best aspects of committee is sharing the incredible essays, heartfelt stories, thoughtful recommendations, or personal stories around our own individual applicants. We do vote on each of them but there is not much technology behind the voting. You might think we have buzzers (I wish we did) but we simply vote by raising hands. Hopefully in the future we can upgrade our voting mechanism to something fancier :).
Given we sometimes spend almost 8 hours on a committee day together, we obviously need food. Food is probably the most important aspect of day, for all of us. Snacks are the top priority. There are occasionally healthy snacks but mostly the goodies include: DIET COKE, goldfish, cheeze-it’s, M&M’s, chocolate of some-kind, and more diet coke. Lunch is very important as well but without the snack, there would be no committee. In fact, we actually have a “Food Committee” and they are solely in charge of supplying the rest of the group for our long days, locked up in our special room with voting buzzers
The later half of the week is committee for us. I thought it might be helpful for you to better understand what we will be doing if you happen to stop by the Bartlett Center and do not find any admissions counselors.
Do you have your own preconceived thoughts about admissions committee? Feel free to share!