Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My job is depressing...

I love recruiting. I really do. I love encouraging high school students to follow their dreams and go to college. I want them to do well, to succeed and to find a school they love. I don't want them to come to UCLA or UC Davis unless they LOVE it there. I don't care where they go- I care that they go. But I get paid to recruit for UCLA so my secondary goal is to get kids to care about UCLA. I took this job thinking I'd have the easiest job in the world. I thought I'd be super popular at all the college fairs- I thought I'd have the table that all the kids wanted to visit.

I was wrong.

I am popular... but with the counselors, faculty and staff- and the occasional parent. But with the students- I am less than average. Students come by my table, glance at my table banner, which proudly shouts UCLA, and they keep walking... Sometimes they might sigh- which depresses me a great deal. Other times they'll laugh with their friends and say, "yeah right!" Some kids will say to me, "I'd never get into UCLA"- and by the time I can respond they're talking to the table next to mine.

This whole experience has come as a shock to me- but only slightly. I feel rather stupid that I never thought it would happen... because now that I reflect on it, I should have known this was coming. UCLA has an amazing reputation, we're highly selective, and these students have probably been told by many people that they're not good enough... and even if they haven't been told that they're not good enough, they probably haven't been told they might be good enough- or that they should at least TRY!

So my role in this position is different than I thought- I find that I'm not always talking "up" UCLA- but rather I'm trying to convince students not to assume they won't get in. Why set yourself up for failure? Sure, if you have a GPA lower than a 3.0 and you've done no extra curricular activities and have spent your entire high school career being a lazy butt, then no, you don't have a chance in HELL of getting in. But I want the kids who are motivated and do try to understand that there IS a chance they could be accepted- even if they don't have a 4.0!

So parents and teachers... keep this in mind. Don't discourage your kids from dreaming big dreams- or trying for something that seems unobtainable.

I do love my job... and I feel so incredibly lucky to work for such an amazing institution. I love UCLA and I think they do an amazing job educating a diverse group of students- and I am proud to work for them in getting the message out to students that UCLA *IS* an obtainable goal!

3 comments:

Lisa said...

That's sad. Hopefully one day, they'll know to dream big!

Adrianne said...

Wow! I could have written that for UT Arlington only I would have put no we aren't that loser school that you will fall back on because you won't get into UT. Oh wait yes we are. Apply here because this is where you will be going....

Don't you just love recruiting!! :)

Theresa said...

Sounds like you have a bit of a challenge on your hands. I think a lot of people just don't try hard enough these days. I hope these students realize that they have huge potential if they just tried. They have to want to do it before it can happen....