October 6, 2015
A Day in the Life: Visiting High Schools
Hello world! As a new member of the blog team, I am so excited to share with you many of my day-to-day experiences as an Assistant Director of Admission at USC. When I talk to my friends and family about my job, they often ask questions like “what do you do on a daily basis?” or “do you have to work in the summer?” I’m hoping that through my monthly additions to this blog, you’ll get a better idea of what we do every day as admission counselors.
So let’s start with the present. This morning I woke up at the Courtyard Marriott in Vienna, VA. My first visit began at 7:45 am. That might sound early to some, reasonable to others, but I can tell you, this morning at 7:45 am, I was tired (7:45 am in VA feels like 3:45 am in CA…oy.) You see, my flight from Los Angeles was supposed to arrive at Reagan National Airport at 3:43 pm yesterday (to be exact.) But instead, due to a wet cockpit seat (I kid you not,) my flight was delayed three hours. Luckily, my first school visit this morning always has coffee waiting for me, and I was especially appreciative today (Thanks Sheila!) Although I usually give about a 30 minute presentation to students when I visit, at this school it’s a different format which consists mostly of me answering questions. Thankfully the students came prepared. They asked great questions and I think I only stuttered a few times.
I had some time to kill before my second visit and luckily found a Peet’s Coffee on my way. I stopped for some breakfast and a coffee refill. In a perfect world I arrive about 10 minutes prior to a visit, but usually I’m about 15 to 20 minutes early. Thankfully, my car’s air conditioning kept me cool while I ate my bagel and drank my latte. Today I was also able to chat with some counselors which is always a highlight of my day. College counselors are always full of information about students, their schools, and usually life in general. It also reminds me of my high school days where I spent a lot of time on my counselor’s couch.
My third visit today was to a school I’ve never visited before. There were about eight students present and one was even wearing a USC t-shirt. This student, let’s call him Brandon, told me about his recent visit to campus so we had a moment to gush over how pretty USC is. I love sharing common USC experiences with students, especially when I’m away from home.
Finally, between my third and fourth visit this morning, I was able to grab a 6” veggie delight as I drove to the next high school. Upon checking in, my picture from last year’s visit appeared in their computer, a nice reminder of the relationships I continue to build at each school.
After my fifth and final visit today, I returned to my hotel, debriefed my day in the form of notes and headed to the closest Starbucks to catch up on some work. My first instinct is always to check my email. Oh look! I got an email from Brandon thanking me for my visit and asking a question about something I mentioned. Love when that happens!
I hope to meet many of you as I continue my travels! If there’s anything else you want to know about our experiences visiting your high school, please feel free to leave questions in the comment section and I will do my best to get back to you soon!
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