Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Admissions Interview : College :: Networking : Career

A recent article in the New York Times about whether college interviews really matter got me thinking, apparently in a very SAT-like-way (I love me some analogies), that admissions interview are to the college exploration process as networking is to the career exploration process. As Karen Richardson, associate director of admissions at Tufts notes, “the interview is every bit as much for the student to learn more about an institution as it is for the institution to learn more about a student.” And networking, when done proactively, is done for exactly the same reason. For the student deciding between a Master’s in social work or a doctorate in clinical psychology, the best way is to talk to do information gather. And what’s [one of] the best way[s] to gather information? You guessed it, informational interviewing! Just like you thought about what college you wanted to go to with a critical and thoughtful eye, so to should you approach your future career. Other similarities between admissions interviews and networking: they both allow you to gather more information on the college/profession of your choice, which will allow you to speak more compellingly about your reasons for choosing it; they demonstrate interest; and both are excellent preparation for future interviews. As Kelly Sortino, director of college counseling at Crystal Springs Uplands School in California and a former admissions officer at Princeton University, astutely points out, “interviews in general – for jobs, etcetera — aren’t going away.”

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