When The Seasons Change…

I have now completed my first travel season for the Fall of 2014. I have learned a great deal and have truly grown from the experience of traveling the roads of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. But now, it’s TRANSITION TIME. I am looking forward to the next step in the role of being an admissions counselor, reading.

Do you know what we are looking for? What exactly our job is? Our job is to make sure that any student we admit has the potential to be a successful UMBC student. The first thing we look at is academic history and standardized test scores to get an understanding of what you have done in the past. We will then look at your anticipated major and see if your academic history aligns with your strengths, so if you tell us you are interested in engineering we will look at your math and science courses; if you say you are interested in psychology or another social science we will look at your writing skills and writing intense courses. The other thing we look at is to see if you will be a good fit for our community. We do this through letters of recommendation, your essay, and any outside activities you have be involved with. We also look to see if you have initiative and drive or have taken on any leadership roles on campus or in your community. Our students are an active and vibrant group that care about one another and are dedicated to their studies so we want all incoming students to fit in well with our community.

I know that you all have what it takes to be Retrievers! The Early Action deadline is on Saturday… that’s like tomorrow!!! Also, don’t forget to schedule a visit! You can do so by clicking here!

Here are some pictures from my travel season below. Enjoy!

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Remember to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @ UMBCadmissions for upcoming events, information, and more for the admissions staff!

Relationships!

Before I went on the road, I heard stories from the UMBC Admissions staff about all of the people they met and all of the fun they had while on recruitment travel. I thought to myself, “There is no way that you could have that much fun while driving from one high school to the next and standing at college fairs all night long. There’s no time to have fun.” Boy was I wrong! I have met so many wonderful people. I have been able to absorb any and all knowledge passed my way whether it is from seasoned counselors, new counselors, guidance counselors, or principals. Every person told me that this profession is all about the relationships you make . . . and to never eat alone.

I have made some amazing relationships with admissions counselors across nation. We all have the same personality for the most part. We are a bunch of extroverts who love interacting and helping people. I mean of course we do, we’re all in admissions! So overall, I am having an amazing time on the road. Being able to cultivate relationships with people has made this chapter of my life very rewarding. You never know how these relationships will benefit my future.

Below is a picture of the group counselors at the end of one of the PACAC college fairs. The University of Massachusetts Amherst counselor had to fulfill one of the requirements for her office’s travel challenge, which called for a “selfie” with the most admissions counselors in it. Hope you enjoy!

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You’re Invited!

Future Retrievers… Are you looking for something fun to do next Friday? Mark your calendars because on Friday, October 17th I’m inviting YOU to Retriever Day! Get your first look at life at UMBC by spending the morning with our amazing students, award-winning faculty, and our awesome admissions staff!

Come early! We have breakfast covered and our A-Team will be here to greet you when you arrive. Jump on a campus tour, attend one of our classes, and learn more about our programs from the experts at one of our many information sessions. These are just a few opportunities that will be available to you on Retriever Day, don’t miss your chance to visit our campus and discover all that UMBC has to offer! Sign up here!

Tour Guides

See you at Retriever Day!

-Lisa

A UMBC Admissions Tradition

Today I went from Baltimore to Carroll to Frederick to PG County for high school visits and college fairs, and it’s been great to meet so many awesome students who want to learn more about UMBC.

We talk about campus traditions a lot—from Convocation to rubbing the nose of the True Grit statue on campus—but today I thought I’d share a tradition that most people don’t hear about.

In UMBC’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions & Orientation we have the tradition of passing off a stuffed animal True Grit at our full staff meeting to a member of staff who’s done excellent work or really stood out in the previous month.

The fun part is that we decorate True Grit to match the recipient’s personality. So when Mito, who’s originally from Waco, TX, received True Grit a few months back, the little guy was holding a Lone Star flag and an avocado (Mito’s guacamole is universally recognized at the absolute best around). When Terisa passed on True Grit to me last month, he had a cool UMBC button and some truly outstanding socks (my sock game is strong).

Yesterday it was my turn to pass True Grit on and the choice was obvious. You already know Christine from her wildly upbeat and always interesting blog posts; the cool thing is that she’s like that in real life, too!

Gabrielle and I put together a little costume for True Grit to pay tribute to what a great dancer Chris is. We’re so happy Chris is with our office and look forward to all the great work she’ll do as our newest Admissions Counselor.

Here's Gritty all dolled up for the ballet.

Here’s Gritty all dolled up for the ballet.

Way to go, Chris! The ball’s in your court for next month :)

LIFE ON THE ROAD

I am enlightened! Being on the road gives me a new perspective on life. Being alone for the majority of the time has made me find a new best friend . . . ME!  I never thought that I would find pleasure in the small things, like going to Barnes and Noble to purchase a book (I’m reading Fool Me Twice by Robert B. Parker), sitting outside to look at the scenery (especially in the rural parts of Pennsylvania),  and so much more.

I am in week four of my first recruitment travel season! I am almost half way done. HOW CRAZY IS THAT!! It’s going by fast, and I feel like in a blink of an eye, I’m going to be back in the office. I know they’ve missed me. J  I have truly begun to come into my own in the world of admissions, and have made relationships with other admissions counselors, high school students, and most importantly, guidance counselors at most of the high schools that I have visited. Every day I notice that I am making a difference in these students’ lives. When I see their eyes light up while I am giving a presentation, when they are eager to ask questions, when I am finished my presentation and they clap, it makes my heart flutter and I feel fulfilled.

I am blessed to have this opportunity to effect change in other people’s lives. My main purpose in life is to give back to those in need or who are seeking guidance.  Below you’ll see a picstitch of some of my favorite moments on the road. Don’t forget to follow the admissions staff on Twitter and Instagram @UMBCAdmissions and look at “The Selfies of Christine’s Life on the Road Adventures.”

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I’ll get better at my selfie taking I promise!

#FlashbackFriday – Study Abroad Edition

It’s September and for us admissions counselors that means it’s time to leave UMBC and hit the road! For me, the new school year comes with a new recruitment territory and new adventures.  Instead of traveling back to my home state of New Jersey, I’ll be roaming the roads of Northern Virginia and Washington, DC hoping to meet all of you!

In the spirit of #FlashbackFriday , I thought I would go way back to one of my favorite college memories – studying abroad in Paris in the fall of 2007. It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since I woke up every morning to a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower , traveled all over Europe with some of my best friends, and completely immersed myself in the culture of a city far from home .

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That was a small snapshot of my study abroad experience. Now I’m daring you to discover your own right here at UMBC!

Our Study Abroad Office is committed to helping UMBC students find programs that best suit their personal and academic to interests. It’s never too early to start looking at what we have to offer. Check out the Study Abroad Office website here .You can also follow the office on Twitter @UMBCStudyAbroad for instant updates on all things study abroad at UMBC. Have a question? Contact your admissions counselor or visit us on campus at one of our admissions events . You never know where your UMBC journey might take you. It’s time to get started!

-Lisa

Get ready, get set…. It’s CHRISTINE!

Hello retrievers and future retrievers! My name is Christine Jenkins, and I am excited to announce myself as UMBC’s newest Admissions Counselor. How did I get here, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

I am a 2013 graduate of Howard University, where I majored in Telecommunications Management and a minor in Economics. After graduation, I was fortunate enough to get hired in the Human Resources Department at UMBC. I learned a great deal from my colleagues there, and was able to grow and network with the faculty and staff of this campus. Although I was pretty good at fulfilling my tasks and duties in the office, something was missing. I needed to be set free from sitting behind the desk. With the ebullient personality that I have, I wanted to be able to share it with the world. That led me to apply for Admissions Counselor, and now I’m here!!! I’m thrilled to be able to resolve any issues students come to me with, to help them get admitted to UMBC, and better yet; to make a non-believer into a RETRIEVER!  Now that you know how I made it to this position, let me tell you a few things about myself.

I have been performing since the age of three, well, all of my life. I began taking tap and ballet which blossomed into me trying all styles of dance; such as jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, lyrical, African, pointe, and so much more. Dance is my outlet and has helped me in all stages of my life. While at Howard University I danced with the “Ooh La La!” Dance Line as a part of the “SHOWTIME” Marching band. (Little interesting fact, I’ve danced in a marching band since my freshman year at Mt. Hebron High School). My senior year I became captain and made history! Well, in my mind I did. Now, I’m a professional cheerleader for the Baltimore Blast! So if your ever go to a Blast soccer game, I’ll see you there!!

As you can tell, I am ecstatic to be working in the Undergraduate Admissions and Orientation department. I look forward to making an impact, and changing lives. Please stay tuned to the Admissions Blog. My fellow counselors and I are on road and will be blogging about all the interesting things that we are experiencing while out of the office!

Here is a clip of me “doing my thing” during my senior year at Howard University. I hope you enjoy!

The Best Time to Apply to UMBC

The Best Time to Apply to UMBC

September 9, 2014

 

In recent years, the process of applying to college has become much easier for high school students to do. One of the biggest pieces of innovation is the transition of UMBC going paperless. Going paperless makes it simpler for both the applicants as well as the admissions staff.

The deadlines for UMBC are November 1st for Early Action and February 1st for Regular Decision. After being on the road for the past week, one of the questions that I have received frequently is: “When is the best time for me to apply to UMBC?”

 

I believe that the following three points are ones that are commonly assumed by students.

 

  1. Applications submitted early get “easier” reads and show interest.

I understand why most students think this is true for most schools. There are a lot of schools that may encourage very early submission of applications; however, UMBC has the same application review process for the entire regular application season. Admissions counselors are able to see the date that the application was submitted, however, it does not play as a large factor as it relates to whether a student is accepted or denied.

 

  1. We fill the class during Early Action.

The students who decide to apply Early Action to UMBC are typically academically strong students and they comprise a substantial percentage of the total first-year applicant pool. UMBC’s first offers of admission are extended to the students with the strongest academic records. Our goal at UMBC is to enroll the academically strongest and most broadly diverse students to meet the target class size.

 

  1. Applications submitted around the holidays are read by “happy” admission counselors.

When admissions counselors go into reading applications, we are usually focused on the task and the application in front of us. We are totally aware of how important our work is to our applicant and we isolate ourselves from outside influences so that we are able to give each student an equal and fair opportunity. As a result, UMBC admissions counselors understand the importance of our work and we feel good about the work that we are doing.

In conclusion, submit your UMBC application when you feel that it is complete. While I always caution students about last minute submission, there isn’t a large difference between an application submitted on September 1st and one submitted on November 1st.. Don’t rush yourself!

Summer Orientation!

Logo 2Around this time of year, most high school students have received their admissions letters and have decided whether or not they will be attending UMBC. For the students that have decided to become a part of the amazing UMBC community, you are probably wondering: “Okay, what’s next?” So, I would like to share with you a bit of information about Orientation Course Selection Day.

Orientation Course Selection days will take place on June 12 and 13 (Honors and Scholars), June 16, 18, 19, 23, 25, 26, and June 30. The day will begin with check-in at 8:00am and it will end at 5:00pm.

Below are a few frequently asked questions about Orientation Course Selection Day.

  1. How do I register for Orientation Course Selection Day?
    To reserve your space for Orientation and Placement Testing, please complete the online registration form. When you log into the registration form, you will be able to select which dates you prefer to take your online placement tests and attend Orientation Course Selection Day. Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have any questions, please call 410-455-3244.2. How will I receive my Orientation confirmation details? 
    You will receive an e-mail confirmation immediately after completing your online Orientation registration. The date you select should not be considered confirmed until you have printed your confirmation information online or received it via e-mail. Closer to your Orientation Course Selection Day, you will also receive a hardcopy confirmation with a parking pass and other important details in the mail.

    3. What if I need to attend orientation on a specific date offered?
    You will be provided with a list of all available dates on the online registration form. Please be aware that we cannot make exceptions to the dates that are already closed or filled to capacity. If you have any questions regarding a specific program, please call 410-455-3244.

    4. What if I am unable to attend orientation?
    Orientation is mandatory for all new students. Orientation is your only opportunity to register for spring classes, and it is a full-day of opportunities for you and your family to discover everything that UMBC offers.

    5. What if I need to change my assigned orientation date?
    You may log back into the online registration form to make a change to you Orientation date up until three days before your scheduled program.  Beyond that date, if there is emergency requiring that you reschedule your Orientation, please call 410-455-3244.  Please note that once you enter the change for your original date, your original selection will immediately be available to someone else.

    6. Is there a fee for orientation?
    Yes—there is a one-time orientation fee of $125 that you will submit with your $100 enrollment deposit. This fee covers the cost of orientation materials, food and staffing. If you have not already done so, log into myUMBC to accept your admission and pay your $225 enrollment deposit and orientation fee.

I hope that this information was helpful to you and if you have any further questions or concerns feel free to reach out to the admissions office at 410 455 3244!

Kind Regards,

Jason

Admissions Hits the Road

© UMBC Creative ServicesAs May 1 approaches at a creeping pace, newly admitted students have been visiting UMBC’s campus to meet with faculty and staff, check out the dorms and facilities, and ask us lots of great questions.  We’re always excited to talk to students and help them decide what college or university is best for them.

For a slight change of pace, instead of hosting events here on campus, we’re taking the show on the road next week!  Representatives from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions & Orientation, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, the Honors College, and Residential Life will host events in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.  You can find out more about these events and sign up to attend here.

We hope to see you there!