I am was a first-gen student and am now serving on alumni interviews for ED and RD students applying to my alma mater, since I believe it’s important to really give back to the community and school that have opened a ton of doors for me than I could’ve ever imagined.
That said, I have done upwards of 50+ interviews and there are some feedback I think would really help everyone…
- Please read the website for the school and major you are applying to - I have had students not being able to say anything about why they want to attend the school, other than “This is a very prestigious school”, “This is a diverse school”, etc and other generalizations that can be said of any school in the world. The funniest answer I’ve gotten for why they want to attend the school: “My parents have told me SchoolABC students are very smart, so I will be great here”. I also had students tell me they are interested in a certain major because of specific classes that aren’t even taught under the major… Those very same students also come to realize that the major was nothing like what they had in mind during the interview and after they already submitted the application. It’s very easy to tell someone is not a right fit for the school, and especially a clear waste of my time when they don’t even know what the major actually is.
- Please be mindful of our time, especially we are volunteering our time to really help give you a picture of the college experience and answer any questions you guys have. I had multiple students reply to my emails >2 weeks later and speak to me as if I’m their assistant. Better yet, I had no-shows to interviews that were rescheduled twice, only to email 3 weeks later about a sob story of how they hope they had not ruined their chances. Other emails include apologizing for responding to interview request a month later (a few days before ED decisions are out), saying that they have too many emails on a daily basis (uhm, welcome to adult life?)… (at that point, I’ve already marked them as no-response, and no, they did not end up being accepted)
- If you don’t know something, then don’t pretend you’re an expert at it just because you think it will impress me, or worse yet, you think you can pull a fast one on me. All we want to do is to get to know the genuine you. It’s very easy to tell when students are bullsh*tting the 50 extra-curricular activities they claim to have, and a surprise to some, it’s very easy to tell when someone is reading off the screen over a zoom call.
Happy to provide any advice and guidance as well. Most importantly, good luck in the process and enjoy the senior year-