Alumni Encourages Admissions Volunteer Work

Andy Rowan

To the Editors:

Hey seniors! After you leave Oberlin, you may find yourself longing for a way to maintain a connection to the place that has changed you so much. One way to stay connected is to become an alumni admissions volunteer.

Our alumni volunteers do a lot to help the admissions office with recruiting efforts. They attend preview events (often casual gatherings in someone’s home) to talk to prospective students and their families. They represent Oberlin at college fairs that the staff cannot get to, and they interview students who can’t arrange a campus visit. Last year, alumni volunteers covered 77 college fairs (about a third of the total) and interviewed 1,300 students (about one out of every five applicants).

The primary qualification is to be able to speak enthusiastically about what Oberlin is like. The main goal of college fairs and alumni interviews is to help prospective students understand what makes Oberlin different from other schools. The Alumni Office provides you with the basic facts to answer common questions, but prospective students increasingly know how to find this information online, and the interactions are more about highlighting what’s unique about Oberlin.

Our best representatives are the ones who have the freshest memories of life at Oberlin, so we are always looking for recent grads to add to the Alumni Recruiting Network. You can imagine being a high school student going for an admissions interview. You’d feel a lot more comfortable with someone close to your own age who knows what Oberlin is like now, rather than someone your parents’ age who remembers what it felt like to be at Oberlin when John Lennon or Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot.

It’s not a big time commitment, and it’s a good way to stay plugged in to Oberlin. To volunteer, just send an e-mail to [email protected] or drop by the Admissions Office in Carnegie.

–Andy Rowan,
OC ’83 Chair, Admissions Advisory Committee, Alumni Association Executive Board