August 15, 2013
On the Road Again!
As summer comes to a close (where did the time go?!), my colleagues and I are turning our attention to Fall travel season. Many of us will visit upwards of ninety high schools during the months of September, October, and November, in nearly 50 states and in over five different countries. We will also be attending receptions and holding interview weekends in major cities like Seattle, New York, Boston, San Francisco, etc.
And we are not alone. Tons of colleges and universities across the country will be visiting high schools in an attempt to meet great students and generate interest in their respective institutions. We know that these “college visits” can seem overwhelming, confusing, and yes, maybe even a bit repetitive, but there are ways to make the most out of a college visit. Here, we wanted to share a few tips:
1. The person who is visiting your high school is most likely reading your application. Many institutions implement a “territory manager” system, where the country (and sometimes, the world) is divided up into different territories. These territories are then assigned to various people in the office. At USC, the person visiting your high school is in fact the first person to read your application, and is also your direct contact throughout the entire application process.
2. Make a good impression! No, this does not mean shower us with gifts and compliments (though wouldn’t that be nice if we could accept them!) Making a good impression means doing your research about the institution, remaining attentive during the visit, asking insightful questions, introducing yourself after the visit and telling the territory manager a bit about your interests, and potentially writing a follow-up e-mail or note.
3. Don’t be nervous. A college visit is not an interview. There is a separate process for that. This is your opportunity to gain as much information you can about the college or university.
4. Sometimes, two colleges you may be interested in will be scheduled on the same day, or even at the same time. We know that in between your AP/IB classes, tests, and extracurriculars, you may not be able to attend every visit that interests you. You can still connect with a representative by sending an e-mail and introducing yourself. We will always leave extra materials in the counseling office for those who cannot attend.
Make sure you check with your College and Career Center for a list of upcoming college visits. You can also find out who your territory manager is by going here.
See you in the Fall!
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