Summer Admissions Interns Answer ‘Why St. Lawrence?’

Six exceptional St. Lawrence University students were selected for the coveted Admissions Summer Internship for 2017. As the campus’ main tour guides during the summer months, there’s one particular question they all agree gets asked the most: "Why did you choose St. Lawrence?"

“People from big cities especially want to know ‘what can you do all the way up here,’” said Teddy Geraghty ’18 of Norwich, Vermont. “I tell them that student engagement is a big part of the St. Lawrence experience, and that kids engage heavily on this campus. I can definitely say I never expected to get as involved as much as I am.”

Emily Hurlbut ’19 of Massena, New York, and Connor McSweeney ’18 of Plattsburgh, New York, can tell prospective students and their parents what it's like living in the North Country. Yet, even for them, St. Lawrence creates a community that's uniquely its own.

“Being here is being a part of an incredibly tight-knit community,” Emily said. “You have a name; you’re not just a number. Professors walk by and they ask how you’re doing. It’s a key piece of attending a small liberal arts school.”

Connor added, “I always talk about how community is a major part of the St. Lawrence experience. Whether it’s the First-Year Program, or getting involved in the 120 clubs and organizations or even living here in Canton, being a widely inclusive campus is a massive part of life at St. Lawrence.”

Hyung Seon (Jennifer) Kim ’18 hails from Seoul, South Korea, so the question of “why did you come all the way to St. Lawrence’ comes up during nearly every tour she gives. But, so does the question about the University’s alumni network.

“I did the London program in Fall (2016) and the New York City Semester in the Spring (2017),” she said. “The New York City program, especially, is focused heavily on internships, most of which come about as a result of an alumni connection. Alumni have this sense of paying it forward. They want to help the next generation of St. Lawrence alumni get a head start on their career through these experiences.”

A 10-week appointment, Admissions Summer Interns were selected from a competitive field of candidates after completing an extensive application process, including multi-stage interviews. The internship gives students the opportunity to expand their professional work experiences, conduct analytical research for the Office of Admissions and show off their campus pride to prospective students. Of the half-dozen selected, only Nina Melkonyan ’18 of Yerevan, Armenia, had served as an Admissions Ambassador prior.

Chloe Warner ’18 of Manchester, New Hampshire, had previously served as a Calling-All-Saints volunteer, and, like the phone-a-thon, she now gets to do what she enjoys most – talking to people.

“When people ask me about the isolation of the campus, I take them over to the (Sullivan) Student Center and tell them about all the movies that are shown here, I talk about the Outing Club and trips that students take part in, and how Canada is just a short drive away,” she said. “I know the tour they take with me can make a real difference in whether or not they decide to apply or eventually attend St. Lawrence later on.”

Emily has an even more personal connection to St. Lawrence: Her father, Michael Hurlbut, is the assistant men’s hockey coach, and her brother, Jake, is a Class of 2015 graduate. “I was an early decision applicant; there was no other place I wanted to go,” she said. “So, it’s easy for me to come into this job and talk about all of the options here as liberal arts school.”

In addition to being dedicated tour guides, each student also works on special projects for the office: Teddy is analyzing early decision retention, while Emily is creating profiles on Class of 2021 students who received merit scholarships. Meanwhile, Connor and Nina are reworking what’s known in their office as “The Arsenal,” the guidebook of statistics and stories that Admissions Ambassadors and interns use in their daily work.

“We get to look at all kinds of really big data, and use software tools that will provides us with real, professional experiences,” Teddy said. “We get to dive into the marketing materials and see what made a difference or not. After working on the computer for a while, it’s always nice to go outside and give a tour.”

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