Since Monday’s application deadline, the Admissions Office staff has been primarily focused on digging out from a mountain of mail. Nearly all applicants use the on-line application, but there are still recommendations, test scores, writing samples, and other materials that may arrive by mail. We create a file folder for each applicant and load it with the on-line form and the supplemental materials. Then, off it goes to be read by members of the Committee on Admissions.
I don’t know what results you’d find if you polled admissions officers at random, but my colleagues and I love reading applications. The process gives us perspective on our current students and what makes Fletcher special. That doesn’t mean, though, that reading is without its challenges, many of which come down to self discipline. There’s no way to read 50 applications in a day without it! Each of us in the Admissions Office has a different routine for reading days. We take home the number of applications that we believe (optimistically) we will read, and then approach them in our preferred way. I like to mix up U.S. and international applicants, and I arrange the applications in groups of five. I try not to take a break until I’ve read five files. Sounds crazy, but I’ve read thousands of files using my special “technique.”
And that’s where my new slippers come in. To read all day long, giving proper attention to each application, means that I need to block out all distractions, including cold feet! I’ll be testing my new slippers most Thursdays, many evenings, and on the weekend, too.
I hope to convince others at Fletcher Admissions to share their thoughts through the blog in the coming weeks. It’s a way for you to “hear” from the office during the interminable (for applicants) stretch between January 15 and April 1. Meanwhile, we have our student and professional staff opening mail and compiling files as quickly as we possibly can. Please be understanding if we’re a little slower to respond to correspondence than at other times of the year.