For graduate schools, fall is a heavy recruiting season. In the past week I've been to three different recruiting events, and for two of them I was on my own, driving out of town to represent the UNC School of Social Work. I had to learn how to present our usual 1.5 hour long informational slide show in 20 minutes, without slides, and I had to learn how to keep smiling and talking even when my legs were tired and my voice was sore.
At the Idealist fair that we hosted yesterday, we had representatives from schools like NYU, American University, Brandeis, Columbia, Duke, Harvard, Georgetown, Rutgers, Texas A&M, Washington U in Saint Louis and Vanderbilt, as well as some international Universities in the UK and in Italy. As a public University we don't have the funding to travel nation-wide to attend recruiting events, so it was really a treat that our Idealist fair brought in reps from the top schools in the country. You should just see some of the swag (S.tuff W.e A.ll G.et) some of these schools have designed for recruiting tools. Globe-shaped containers with breath mints, fortune cookies with personalized messages inside ("Get off to a good start at Boston University!"), little swatches of biodegradable paper with flower seeds embedded in the fibers, which are ready to be thrown into the ground and watered... fascinating.
But my favorite part of the work week was driving for the recruiting events. Having a few hours this week to myself, to think and plan, or listen to music, was an exquisite gift. It's rare nowadays to be alone.