October 21, 2015
Come Discover USC!
During my last visit to the Metro DC area I worked at one of our Discover USC programs. We host these programs for prospective students throughout the world so that students and families gain helpful information about USC and our application process. Although we would love for everyone to visit USC, we realize it’s just not feasible, so we try our best to bring a bit of USC to you!
During Discover programs we hope to present ourselves as professional and organized. That generally means we show up extra-early, run around like crazy people making sure the brochures we sent ahead of time have arrived, curse at non-functioning technology, and have the hotel manager’s number on speed dial. Luckily for me, this time in D.C., there was no digging through offices and mail rooms to find our boxes of materials, our Power Point miraculously worked, and we were ready to go before the first family arrived (there is always one that arrives at least a half hour early!) We realize that families spend a lot of time attending information sessions, touring campuses, and filling out applications, so we want to make sure we are providing the most useful information in the most efficient way at all our events. We usually also have some wonderful USC alums lend a hand when they are available. I always question my life choices when I listen to what our alums are up to. Law school at Georgetown…working for the CIA….no big deal.
I was scheduled to speak briefly at this program. A big part of my job is public speaking; I give presentations to high school students in auditoriums, classrooms, and career centers all the time. So I am generally very comfortable talking to a group. That stuff doesn’t faze me anymore. However, put me in a hotel ball room with the Dean of Admission (my boss’s boss’s boss) and ask me to speak, and I’ll feel a bit nervous (just a tad!)
It was great to see a few familiar faces of students I had met at high schools that week. I spoke with one family who had driven about four hours to attend! While we loved that the family was there, please don’t feel that you have to make that sacrifice. If we aren’t coming to a city near you, please feel free to just let your admission counselor know that you want more information but can’t attend a Discover program.
Once our formal presentation is over there’s a chance to ask questions and hear from admission counselors from academic departments. Students can split into groups according to area of interest and ask major related questions as well. I heard from many families who were having their first experience with USC that evening. Several other parents shared with me that they had already been to USC, but they learned something new which somehow changed their perspective on the college application process or about USC. I also spoke with a parent who appeared to have some outdated information about USC or had accumulated some information based on someone else’s experience. This is a great opportunity for parents to refresh their knowledge and learn about present day USC.
One of the last, and one of my favorite, comments I heard of the night was “now I understand why everyone has so much school spirit!” A job well done on our part.
If we are coming to a city near you, or if you will be in Los Angeles on November 22nd, please come visit us at Discover USC! Maybe you will learn something new…you never know!
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