Weird Alumna Interview?

<p>Did anyone else out there have a weird interview for Bryn Mawr? I just had my interview today with an alumna and it was really bizarre.</p>

<p>As soon as I told my interviewer that I wanted to do a double major in English and East Asian Studies, she discouraged me from doing so. She said that both she and people who work at Bryn Mawr look down upon double majors, and recommended that I avoid doing one.</p>

<p>And then she discouraged me from majoring in English and said that perhaps I should do Comparative Literature instead. I then highlighted the differences between the two and explained why I would rather do English. And then she brought up other majors that she thought I should do! It was like she scorned upon me wanting to major in English. She acted like it was a fleeting passion, even though I thoroughly explained my love of reading and writing. Seriously, these have been my top two passions since I was 8, and I explained this! Why was she discouraging me from pursuing what I love?</p>

<p>And then we got talking about AP classes...and she told me that both her and Bryn Mawr don't care about APs at all and that she herself scorns upon them. She said that Bryn Mawr makes you take all intro classes anyway (except things like science), even if you did get a 5 on the AP exam. Is this true?</p>

<p>She barely asked me any questions about myself, and she didn't ask any common interview questions at all. These are the questions she asked me:
- "What made you choose your current high school?" (My mom chose it for me; I didn't really have a say.)
- "Are you happy with your mom's choice?"
- "Do you like your current school?"
- "What other colleges are you applying to?" When I listed a lot of women's colleges, she asked, "Why is a women's college desirable to you?"
- "What era of literature are you interested in?" And then, when I told her Gothic literature (Edgar Allan Poe, Brontes, Emily Dickinson, etc.) she asked, "Why do you think some people love Heathcliff while others hate him?" And then she grilled me on Heathcliff for 15 minutes...by the way, that was 1/4 of our interview. And it was in the middle of it.
- "Are you part of any social activities OUTSIDE of school?" When I said no and tried to tie it back to my school clubs and leadership positions, she interrupted and said, "It's perfectly okay if you aren't. I'm currently writing a book about hermits." I mean, what the h***?!</p>

<p>...and that was just about it. When I asked her if she was going to ask me any questions about myself, do you know how she responded? She looked me up and down and said, "Oh, I meet a lot of teenagers your age for interviews, so I know you guys pretty well. I think I have a good idea of who you are." O-kay, and what does THAT mean? How'd she get a feel of my personality by asking bizarre questions like that?</p>

<p>It was all really weird. I've done interviews for both Wellesley and Smith, and neither of them were anything like this! She didn't even ask me why I was applying to Bryn Mawr. Is this normal? Has anyone else had a Bryn Mawr interview like this?</p>

<p>My dd had an alumna interview at BMC last week. Her interview went pretty well. Her interviewer encouraged her interest in a double major and her interviewer also acted impressed by her AP course work. Apparently you can get credit and placement for English AP, according to the website. So maybe just chalk this interview up to weirdness.</p>

<p>Really? Could you post the link? I'm having trouble finding the AP credit policy on the website.</p>

<p>That's so weird, though. I specifically asked about the English AP credit, and she said that Bryn Mawr would automatically put me in the intro class even if I got a 5 on the exam.</p>

<p>Considering the misinformation and just plain overall weirdness, do you think I should report her? I don't really want to make myself look bad, but I'd hate for someone to have to go through the same experience that I just did. This interview has given me a rather negative view of Bryn Mawr overall as a school. I mean, right after the interview I felt like it was a waste for me to have spent all that time applying. I don't want to go to a college that discourages me from pursuing my passions, you know?</p>

<p>Well, I think the interview sounds odd, but I wouldn't think of it as "reporting" her. I would consider calling the admissions office and getting answers to your specific questions about AP classes and Double Majoring and explain that you want to clarify the impressions that you got from the alum interviewer. This gives you the bonus of getting to talk to someone in admissions, which is a good thing. I would NOT call with any attitude that this volunteer alum is a weirdo, or wasted your time, or turned you off, etc.</p>

<p>Good luck to you. Remember why you are interested in the college and focus on that, not on the interviewer. Ultimately that has nothing to do with the actual college experience.</p>

<p>UFOninja; you can ask for another interview; I agree with 4yorkshiremen; you don't want to bad-mouth the alum interviewer, but you could just say that you two didn't seem to connect. As an alum interviewer (different school); after interviewing tons of kids; I couldn't imagine saying that I know kids pretty well. The more kids I interviewed, the more points of view and interests I could see and the more I had to learn. Unfortunately, it sounds like the alum interviewer has preconcieved notions and can't see beyond that. As an aside, my daughter loves BMC.</p>

<p>It sounds like your interviewer said a lot of inappropriate things. I would definitely ask for another interview, and perhaps after the acceptances are out, send a letter to admissions. They should be aware of how they are being represented. My daughter starts Bryn Mawr in the fall after she finishes her gap year. When she was accepted she received detailed information about the AP policy. Much credit is offered, even for 3's and 4's in some areas. According to the paper she received, many of the AP exams exempt you from introductory courses and also give credit toward graduation. I'm sure you could ask admissions for the link or to have information mailed to you. And don't let it dissuade you from Bryn Mawr! It is a wonderful school.</p>

<p>Here is the AP/IB credit page.</p>

<p>Deans</a> - Bryn Mawr</p>

<p>Double-majoring; seems to be pretty popular; sorry I know this sounds very anecdotal. As for freshman taking nothing but intro courses; this was definitely NOT my daughter's experience either! best of luck !</p>

<p>Hi UFOninja, this is Neah, your admissions officer for Colorado. I am so sorry to hear that your experience was not the positive connection we hope for with interviews. I see other people have been helpful in addressing your concerns, which is a more accurate picture of the Bryn Mawr community.</p>

<p>I want to clarify that many of our students do double major, and as with all academic planning, your dean will meet with you to discuss your interests and help you reach your educational goals.</p>

<p>Bryn Mawr does recognize that AP classes prepare you for the rigor of college and AP credit varies by exam. The AP credit policy is online at Deans</a> - Bryn Mawr.</p>

<p>I’m happy to talk to you about any lingering concerns. Just email <a href="mailto:admissions@brynmawr.edu">admissions@brynmawr.edu</a> or call 610-526-5152 and ask for me (Neah). Never hesitate to get in touch with us if you have an unusual experience; we want to make sure that you have all the information you need to make this important decision.</p>

<p>When I was applying to Bryn Mawr I also had an interview with an alumna, but I admit it was a very different, and positive, experience compared to the one you described. I'm sorry to hear it didn't go as smoothly as anticipated. Which brings me to say while alumni are a boundless resource and asset to Bryn Mawr, they are NOT official admissions representatives. Many can offer insight and guidance, but it's always good to keep in mind that colleges continue to grow and develop, so her program details and other incorrect information may have been accurate when she was a student, but isn't a true portrayal of the college at this time.</p>

<p>I know several of my peers have gotten credit for their APs and other posters have been kind enough to provide the link to that information. As for double majoring, I know quite a few double majors, ranging from Philosophy and Chemistry to Growth/Structure of Cities and Political Science. It does mean you will be required to write 2 theses, but if you're up for the challenge, I've found Bryn Mawr, as with most things, to be highly encouraging and supportive.</p>

<p>English is one of our most popular majors and I'm surprised that your interviewer would try to dissuade you from it. I'm a minor and many of my close friends are majors and actively involved with the department. I've had nothing but exceptional experiences. For example, my very first semester I took an English course with the head of the department. We have maintained a great rapport and even after the class ended, she invited me and three other students to be interviewed with her for the New York Times. The professors strive to make connections with students and encourage them greatly. </p>

<p>If you are concerned, I would encourage you to reach out to your area's Admissions Officer who provided her information above. Feedback is always appreciated and this will give you an opportunity to present your side of the story if you're worried about being misrepresented.</p>

<p>Please let me know if you have any other questions. Best of luck to you!</p>

<p>Hi! </p>

<p>I'm a current student and Bryn Mawr and I'm really happy to hear that you are interested in East Asian studies. Last semester I participated in the 360 program, which is program where you take all of your classes with the same students (we had 11 in the class) centered on a topic. The topic last semester was contemplative practices (Zen Buddhism, Quakerism, meditation, and such) and one of my classes, History of Buddhism, was taught by the chair of the East Asian Studies department, Hank Glassman. The entire class and the professors went to Japan together for two weeks early in the semester and stayed in different Zen monasteries in the western side of Japan. It was a really fabulous experience and Professor Glassman is a really nice guy and a great teacher (and he's fluent in Japanese!). I'm sure he'd be happy to answer any questions you have about the department. He teaches at Haverford College (the East Asian studies department is bi-college), so if you'd like to shoot him an e-mail just look him up on the website and it will have his contact information. </p>

<p>I'm sorry to hear that your interview didn't go as well as you had hoped, but if you have any questions about my experience in the 360 program or the East Asian Studies department, I'd be happy to answer them or you can e-mail Professor Glassman. </p>

<p>Best of luck with the college search process!</p>

<p>@ UFO and other prospective students</p>

<p>I am currently a BMC junior. I think the interview you had is an abnormal representation of the BMC woman. I hope your interview does not discourage you from attending BMC (if accepted) because Bryn Mawr is an exceptional academic institution and I could not imagine receiving a better undergraduate education anywhere else. (PS I am a transfer student so I have had another college experience.) Good luck with everything!</p>

<p>My D is a sophomore currently considering a double major with no overlap of classes whatsoever. She was never discouraged from pursuing it. What the interviewer in the OP posted is a complete 180 from D's experience.</p>

<p>Who is Heathcliff?</p>

<p>Heathcliff? Grumpy anti-hero of Wuthering Heights.</p>

<p>I thought it was the cat in the comics but wasnt sure how it was relevant to a discussion about literature.</p>