My Day in Admissions – Why Research?

Filed in Life at WPI by on April 23, 2014

Hey everyone!!

Today I worked an open house in Admission for accepted students! The day was really exciting! It is awesome seeing accepted students so passionate about WPI and it is even more exciting when they commit to WPI  right in front of your eyes. I had some amazing conversations today with families about WPI, and some not so great conversations. I found the best conversations I had were with students and families who had done RESEARCH on WPI before coming.

Let’s take two conversations I had today. one good and the other a little more difficult:


I spoke with a mother and a daughter today. They were very nice. The daughter was undecided about her major so I told her a little about the CDC and the Discovering Majors and Careers Class that we had to offer. Leading off talking about the CDC, the mother asked about our co-op program and I told her that while our co-op program was not large or required that we did have one.

The mother seemed very concerned when she heard this, so I explained that with the paid internships students get and all of the project experience (IQP and MQP) that students feel like they have enough experience before entering the work force. The family was unaware of these projects, and even the term system, and the grading system here. So I took a step back, explained all of this to them, and by the time I was done it was time for them to go on tour. I left them feeling like I didn’t even have time to really answer their question to the best of my ability.


I spoke with a different girl and her parents earlier in the day. The same question had come up during our conversation (about co-ops). This family, however, was well aware of the WPI system (the projects, grading structure, term structure) so I was able to give a more in-depth answer than having to start from scratch and explain the basics of WPI. I was even able to tell her about past projects, how the application process worked, and what I may get to do next year (in CAPE TOWN!!!) The family seemed really excited about this opportunity and even committed to WPI that day!!!


The second conversation was very fun for me because I was able to give this family a much more in-depth answer without having to start from the beginning and explain WPI. While I do not blame the first family for not knowing everything, the conversation was a little more difficult . It was also a lot of information to throw at them at once and I could see that they were a little overwhelmed and I could see them getting a little lost. I felt bad, but WPI is not an easy school to explain in five minutes.

Between these two conversations, I could tell that the second family got a lot more out of it than the first family. By doing an hour or so of basic research, they had at least heard of WPI’s Plan and were familiar with the school. The first family got this information from me, and missed out on hearing my personal experiences because I was focused on making sure they understood the basics.


SOOO when you are going to a career fair or an interview or a company information center, MAKE SURE YOU RESEARCH THEM PRIORto talking to them. Not only will it make you stand you, YOU personally will get more out of it! You will have more questions, be less confused when they answer your questions, and you get additional info that is not on the website!

Also, the person speaking to you will be more engaged and remember you more! I know speaking from experience, I would so much rather talk to families about my personal experiences about WPI and information they do not normally find on the website than explain what an IQP is and that we only take three classed per term.

Thanks for reading!

Stay tuned for next week and be sure to read Sam and Omesh’s blogs as well!

Gianna <3

About the Author ()

Hey everyone! My name is Gianna Terravecchia and I am currently a senior here at WPI majoring in Chemical Engineering. A few of my favorites include Italian food, ice cream, the color purple, and penguins. I am a Senior Peer Advisor here at the CDC and I am here to help you in any way I can!

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