Time, attention, and care

We’re currently hiring for a number of open positions at Collegewise. And every time we do, we’re in the lucky position to receive dozens—often hundreds—of applications for each opening. Even after we delete those who clearly didn’t read the ad (many of whom appear to be applying for an entirely different job at a different company), we’re still left with far more qualified applicants than we can possibly hire. But no matter how big the volume of interest may be, we try as best we can to remember that behind each application is a real human being who sat down and took the time to show an interest in us.

Applying for a job can be a demoralizing experience for even the most qualified applicant. Often, companies don’t bother to respond or even acknowledge the application. And if communication arrives to share news that the applicant was not selected, it’s often impersonal, recycled messaging.

When people are reduced to electronic files that show up in an inbox, it’s easy to forget that there are human beings behind those PDFs. We think that if someone shows us the consideration of investing time and attention into an application, one that shows they were genuinely interested in our job and not just a job, we owe them not just a personal and thoughtful consideration, but a reply that reflects just that, no matter the outcome.

Seniors, as you receive your decisions from colleges, especially those who asked you to invest a lot of time and attention writing essays, securing letters of rec, interviewing, etc., you should know that while the communication may not be personal, the evaluation most certainly is. We have dozens of former admissions officers working at Collegewise who recount their time poring over every application, every letter of rec, every essay, just to make sure that each application was given a fair and thorough read. They tell us about the committee discussions, the (often heated) debates as they lobbied for their chosen admits, the joy they felt when a kid they knew deserved it got the nod, and the frustration of knowing that a student they were sold on would still be getting bad news.

Admissions decisions often don’t make sense to outsiders. People might tell you that it’s an arbitrary, almost random process. There’s some truth in the claim that admissions isn’t an exact science. But every admissions officer I’ve met or had the pleasure of working with was someone who took their job and their responsibility to applicants very seriously. The adults behind the decisions never forget that there are kids behind the applications.

It’s a personal and sometimes imperfect process. But you can almost certainly be sure that the people making the decisions are doing so with time, attention, and care.