Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Alumni interview requests are now available

As of today, first-year applicants can log into the online application and request an alumni interview. If you already have an account, you can just enter your username and password and click "Request an alumni interview."

If you have not created an account yet, just go to the online application and click "First-Year Applicant" or "Transfer Applicant," whichever describes your situation. Fill out the Basic Information Form, and click "Continue" until you get to your homepage. There, you will see the "Request an alumni interview" link.

What happens after you check that box and click "Save"? The request gets sent to our servers in the office, where Zach Rankaitis ('07), our geographic matching genius, has written a code to match you by latitude and longtitude with the Alumni Schools Committee chair nearest you. There are around 2,000 ASC volunteers, with maybe 50 chairs sprinkled around the world. The ASC chair gets an email with your information, and forwards it to one of their volunteers. You will also get an email confirming your request. The interviewer is instructed to contact the student within 10 days of getting the email, but, of course, not everything always goes according to plan. Still, we are able to meet about 70% of interview requests.

What if your request is not met? Students who live in the Chicago area will get an email telling them to schedule an interview at the office, since they are within driving distance. Students who are in areas with no ASC volunteer nearby (such as me, when I was growing up) will get an email saying that we do not have a volunteer available. I have to say that it was very strange to get a letter from the University of Chicago saying that there were no alumni within 75 miles of my home -- I finally realized how rural I truly was.

Early action applicants must make their requests by October 13. Regular notification applicants must make their requests by December 15.