Seniors to interview applicants
Students on the Hill chose Colby for a variety of reasons, whether it was the friendly people, the beautiful campus or the outdoor tendencies of the community. These are all common attractions for prospective students. For next year’s prospective students, that hook could be an interview with a current senior at the College.
Assistant Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Bill Jack explained how senior interviewers provide “more face-time for prospective students to have with Colby students.” He described how student interviewers can offer a perspective that staff members can’t. As current students who have spent more than three years on the Hill, seniors have significant insight concerning normal life at the College.
In addition, adding student interviewers would allow the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid the opportunity to accept more requests for interviews. The office is heavily booked for interviews throughout the summer and fall, but “it wouldn’t surprise me if in a few years….any student who wants an interview can have one,” Jack said.
Jack hopes that experiencing an interview with a student will hopefully put the interviewee more at ease. In his opinion, a current Colby student would offer a “more personal connection” and the experience overall would be “more relaxed.”
Despite the less stressful atmosphere of an interview with a student, Jack recognized the problems such an atmosphere could pose. There’s the potential that the prospective student will have a “different mentality walking into the interview” and not take it as seriously as one conducted by a staff member. However, Jack said that the admissions office wants prospective students “to think the student has as much ‘power’ as a staff member.”
Jack explained that some people within the College community (who were not named) opposed the idea of hiring student interviewers. Some concerns were that prospective students would not get “face-time” with a staff member and that a student interviewer would not be capable, professional or trustworthy enough to handle such a responsibility. Jack said that some who oppose senior interviewers worry, “How can a current college student assess a student in the same way as a staff member?”
However, Jack explained that interviewers will go through a comprehensive interviewing process, be trained when they are hired and have a strong support system. As Colby students, he believes that students would be trustworthy enough for the job.
Jack said, “I didn’t go to Colby….How could I, as someone who didn’t go here, be more competent than a Colby senior?”
In addition to the benefits of having Colby students interact with prospective students, the seniors themselves would receive real-world experience and skills. Jack wants this “intern-ish experience” to “help students feel more marketable” in their job search after Colby. He explained how he would be doing a “disservice” to these seniors if they left without the skills necessary to feel confident in obtaining a job.
The admissions office is currently accepting applications from rising seniors who want to work full-time on campus this summer, and will begin accepting applications as fall interviewers in March of this year.