Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Work Report

Lest you think that I spend all my time baking, playing with my friends, and fighting with the local wildlife, I thought I’d better give a Work Report just to prove I’m earning my keep here.

This semester I’ve been working mainly under the direction of the Admissions Office. As always happens, two big projects came up simultaneously after months of very little work and I’ve been crazy busy for the past two weeks. The first project was the creation and launch of a student-led tour program. For years, the Admissions Office has wanted to get current students more involved with the admissions process but it just never got off the ground. Enter Me. Since I had experience in student admissions programs from college, I was given the task of making the program happen.

And it’s been a blast. I asked teachers for recommendations on some of their most out-going, sociable and eloquent students then invited those students to join. We invited 40 and got 30 at our first meeting. Not bad! The numbers dropped sharply after that, because the tours have to take place during “free periods.” But we still ended up with a dozen interested kids. They went through training last week—roll-playing workshops, shadowing tours given by Admissions staff, practice tours of their own, etc.—and we have 7 trained and ready to go.

This week they’re giving their first “real tours” with parents and kids and so far the response has been very positive. The families love getting to ask questions of a current student who really knows what it’s like to live here. The students enjoy being able to show off the school. The Admissions staff don't have to spend all their time showing people around. Everyone is happy. Hurrah!

The second big project has been a revamping of our application forms. The current application process is a bit haphazard with a lot of overlapping and extraneous information. Plus, no one has updated the forms in so long that they aren’t even on a computer anywhere. All we had were the originals to copy from. Yikes. Enter Me Again.

Despite the fact that I had no experience in this area, I was assigned to renovating our ancient forms. And I found I loved it! I met with all the members of the Admissions Committee to get their feedback on what was lacking and what could be cut. I looked up the applications for other international schools to see what they were doing. And above all, I organized the forms into a logical order and computerized them. I haven’t shown my work to my boss yet. I’m a little bit nervous because I have proposed some major changes but with luck, she’ll approve. Keep your fingers crossed!


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