This time of year, Educational Counselors all over the world are taking your calls, receiving your emails, setting up interviews and writing reports about their meetings with you. For some of you, an interview may not be something new, but for others the meeting with your Educational Counselor (EC) may be the first interview you’ve ever had. Some of you may still be trying to figure out who your EC is so let’s talk a bit about the mechanics of how this all works.
The best way to find out the name and contact information for your EC is to log in to your my.mit.edu account. There you will see the name of your EC and the best means to contact them (usually via email or telephone). Each year we match up prospective applicants to the ECs in their area. Some ECs interview for just one school so you and several of your friends may get the same EC while in really large schools, more than one EC may be assigned. But most ECs are assigned to you simply because they are the closest one to where you live. We want to make this as easy as possible although in some cases the EC may be some distance away. In a case like this it’s great if you are able to still set up a meeting, perhaps by each agreeing to drive a distance and meeting somewhere in the middle.
Once you know who your EC is, get in touch with them via email or by phone. If you email them include a subject field in the email that says something like “Request for MIT Interview” That will help ECs find your request if it should end up in their spam folder. If you’re calling them and leave a message, give your full name and phone number if you are asking them to call you back. Try to speak slowly and clearly. If you talk too fast they won’t get the whole number and won’t be able to return your call. One year when I was interviewing students I had two people on my list with the same first and last name and when the first one didn’t leave his phone number I had no idea who I should call back. It was quite a comical at the time but still frustrating.
When you contact your EC give them a little time to get back to you–a couple of days at least before you begin to worry. They are busy too so may not be able to respond right away. After a couple of days, it’s fine to contact them again. It you don’t hear back after the second call, consider contacting the EC office at [email protected] and we’ll see what we can do to help you get in contact with them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help but do give them a little time to respond.
It’s not necessary for you to have completed your application before you contact your EC. Waiting until you have may mean that the EC doesn’t have time to interview you before the deadline so please don’t wait. They are able to see if you have submitted portions of your application on the EC website during this process but they are NOT ever able to see your actual application. They only things they know about you when they meet you is your name and your school. If you have a particular question about the application I know they would be happy to offer advice but do not feel that you need to share it with them. Your application does not provide the basis for your interview, you and your interests do.
For those of you who are applying for Early Action, keep in mind that your deadline to contact your interviewer (and preferably have had your interview:-) is October 20. You and your EC both have a deadline of November 1 to submit materials to us so if you haven’t yet contacted your EC about an interview I suggest you do it right away!