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MIT staff blogger Kim Hunter '86

California, Here I Come… by Kim Hunter '86

I begin my Fall Travel by heading to the West Coast

(Written while on a Boeing 737 somewhere between Seattle, WA and Sacramento, CA)

I left Boston on Wednesday last week to head for the West Coast. After an early morning trip to the Manchester, NH airport (that 4:00 am alarm seemed just way to early) I arrived in Seattle in time to go to our Central Meeting there hosted by Dean of Admissions, Stuart Schmill ’86. We had a great group of students and families who attended (one young woman came all the way from Hawaii) and a terrific group of Educational Counselors (ECs) too. The Seattle/Tacoma group of ECs obviously enjoy their interviews each year and they were out in force that night working with the staff members in attendance to check in the students, answer questions and just generally be helpful. One of the ECs, Gregg Lobdell also took some great pictures that night, but I can’t share them until I figure out to upload them to the blog :-(

On Saturday (yesterday) those same ECs spent their afternoon finding out how to be even more effective as ECs on behalf of the Admissions Office and of course, the students they meet. To give up a gorgeous weekend afternoon to sit in a meeting room in a library says a lot about their commitment to the process and what being an EC means to them.

So, I’ve spent the last several days in Seattle, WA at a national conference for admissions officers and high school counselors among others. I’ve learned from those at other schools about their experiences and tried to talk especially to those who run alumni programs within their offices like I do. Not all schools use their alumni/ae volunteers the same way we do but I’m proud of our program and feel it works well for us. One by one I’ve said goodbye to colleagues as we’ve gone our separate ways to continue our travels to meet all of you on the road as well as old friends who were at the conference too.

So now I find myself on an airplane in the early morning heading to Sacramento for the first central meeting of my California trip. Over the next ten days I’ll be in Sacramento, San Francisco, Lafayette, and San Jose doing public meetings. I’ll also be stopping in to visit high schools in those same cities as well as in Stockton, Modesto, and Palo Alto to name a few. It’s kind of a whirlwind tour but I’m excited about my trip because I’ll get to meet lots of you in the process. I know I’m going to enjoy being in California and I look forward to seeing you there!

20 responses to “California, Here I Come…”

  1. Hope your travel goes extremely well Kim. I wanted to know if MIT organizes any meetings abroad. I mean outside the US. Are there any meetings organized organized for international students? I am from India so was curious about it.

    I wanted to know when you d be posting the second part of the “Interview” blog. I am curious to know the evaluation process.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “I wanted to know when you d be posting the second part of the ‘Interview’ blog. I am curious to know the evaluation process.”

    same here

  3. Dane says:

    Firstly, I third the request for the second part of the “Interview” blog.

    Next, I suppose I’ll be seeing you here in California. Hope you enjoy your time here.

  4. Kim '86 says:

    @ Sharath Chandra, Anonymous and Dane: I’ll take the hint and work on the next installment. I have the feeling this will be a series with many parts grin

  5. David says:

    I am the fourth request for the second part of the interview blog :D

  6. Dane says:

    I’ll look forward to the new entry. Sorry for joining in on the mass-attack there, but I’m really curious about the interviews.

    Hm, I’m not sure if this is a good time to come to California or not. It’s finally cooling down, but it also rained a little today. Then again, I live in the Valley, so it may have reached these stages in other areas a while ago, or it may not be there yet. I don’t really know. I’m hoping the weather will be nice, though.

    California can have weird weather at times. Let’s hope it’s weird in our favor this time.

  7. Julian Yuen says:

    Hi Kim! I’m a freshmen from Hawaii, and I was just wondering if MIT admissions will be heading down to the islands anytime soon. There are many students who would love to know more about MIT, and I would love to help out anyway possible. Thank you again!


  8. Kim '86 says:

    @Julian: We don’t have any visits to Hawaii scheduled for this year but you never know, we might get there yet.

    @Sean H: I do remember you! Thanks for coming to my visit today. I really enjoyed myself in Modesto.

  9. Hey Kim, thanks for coming to our school today (Johansen High School) in Modesto. MIT has always been my dream school to go to ever since that “21” movie came into theaters my youth leader was telling us how MIT is #1 in engineering and i want to major in computer science/engineering so you coming was great.

    P.S. If you want to remember who this is, I was the only sophmore out of the group of seniors

  10. Akram says:

    Hey Kim, I would like to say how much I’ve enjoyed your blogs, they’ve given me great insight into what MIT’s about. Hopefully with my new found knowledge, I can sculpt my own future beginning with admission to MIT (fingers crossed). I am attending an information session on October.19th at U of T, Toronto (don’t stop reading just yet, I may be Canadian, but I don’t live up to stereotypes, lol:P). I have already RSVP for the event and looked into it. Luckily enough, it turns out you will be the admissions representative attending this session. Fortunately for me, I’ve got a charismatic individual to relate too, lol. Highly doubt you’ll remember my name when I go, which is understandable, but I’ll be sure to introduce myself; Akram Kassay by the way, not to difficult I think, but I suppose my opinion could be considered bias, lol. This will be my first ever MIT related anything, and you know what they say…you only get one first impression. Can’t wait to meet you, Ms.Hunter!

  11. Hi Kim. I was at your talk today at Balboa High, San Francisco, and just wanted to let you know that you convinced me! Up until recently, I had ruled MIT out of the question for an array of various reasons, and your descriptions and story telling turned me full circle! I look forward to starting on the application proccess in the extremely near future.

    One thing that really drew me in is that, unlike Berkeley and most likely some other top colleges around here, MIT encourages applicants to select fields of interest/majors, but discourages any sort of binding agreement in this matter. YES! Precicely what I want. I’m very interested in Computer Science at this point in my life, (in fact, I’m being taught by an MIT comp sci major in my AP CS class… and I took that class instead of Physics, which may end up being a weak spot on my app since I have no formal physics education at this point!) but expect to be absolutely stunned when I take my first physics courses in college and may end up switching to that field, if not to something completely different.

    Anyway, sorry for telling an off topic story that has no relation to your entry… I wish you well on the rest of your trip!

    PS – I was the tall, long-haired guy holding running shoes who asked you about counselor recommendations, in case you’re curious smile

  12. Kim '86 says:

    @Dane: It’s no problem at all. Please encourage your friend to come to the San Jose meeting.

    @Akram: See you in Toronto!

    @ Matthew M: I’m glad you enjoyed my talk today. I had a terrific time talking to so many interested students.

  13. Dane says:

    Alright, this is sort of last-minute, but I’ve RSVP’d for the San Jose meet this Sunday, and today I’ve heard that one of my friends, who is also a senior looking into colleges, would like to come with me. He doesn’t have a My.MIT account yet, so he doesn’t have a code for this or anything. What are the rules on this sort of thing? Would it be alright to bring him? I don’t see why it would be a problem, but it’s important to check and make sure, rather than just showing up in San Jose with four people (neither of us have our driver’s licenses yet, so both of our fathers would be coming). Thanks in advance.

  14. Dane says:

    I got back from San Jose a while ago. I have to say, I really enjoyed the… Hm, what would you call it? A seminar? A meeting? I’m not exactly sure.

    Anyway, it was really useful, and I got a lot of information out of it, as did my friend. Thanks for your help.

  15. Jami says:

    My son Chad and I attended your Information session in San Francisco. We both thought it was a lot of good information. We met with an older gentleman afterwards (EC) who told us to obtain a copy of an MIT Admissions Guide. Where can we get one? Chad has decided to definetly apply next Fall!!!
    Thanks, Jami

  16. Anonymous says:

    @ Dane: Thanks for coming to the Central Meeting. I’m glad it was a help.

    @ Jami: The publication that the EC referred to is mailed each fall to seniors to help in the completion of their application. Chad will receive one next fall. Thanks for coming to the San Francisco meeting.

  17. K.J. Son says:

    Thanks for giving your talk at Gunn High School, Palo Alto on Monday.
    I really got a good feel for what MIT was about and you have really convinced me that this is a school that I really want to consider.
    p.s. do you have an email that I can keep in touch with you, because I figure that blogs can be commented on for so long.