Take credit for your work and family responsibilities!
We have been talking with both juniors and sophomores about keeping track of their extra-curricular activities and accomplishments in SCOIR. Recording activities and achievements can serve as a reflection point for students to understand where their time is going (and why); it is also helpful for them when it is time to craft a resume or complete activity portions of applications. We also want students to know that they should make note of – and take credit for – work and family responsibilities. But how should they go about doing this? A recent blog post* by Evan Sprinkle, Associate Vice President of Undergraduate Admissions at Queens University, offered recommendations for including these types of responsibilities in college applications.
When talking about paid employment, students should:
- List their title. This is especially powerful if they have received a promotion and have “assistant manager” somewhere in their title. Elevates our understanding of their role like that of a vice president of SGA, for example.
- Quantify performance. Think about someone working at a car wash. They could say, “I dry cars off and ask customers if they want air freshener before leaving.” Or, “I service 100-150 cars per shift. I have become the go-to person on our team for shining wheels and tires for each customer.” They should ask their manager to help them figure out how to best manage their contributions.
- Mention milestones. If a student is recognized for their work, we want to know. Employee of the Month designation, etc. would be incredibly valuable info to accurately score this part of their application.
When addressing family responsibilities, students should:
- Count hours. Many don’t share the hours they spend as the primary care provider for younger siblings, etc. each week.
- Separate duties. Students tend to combine things in their explanations, but I would encourage them to break each task out and expand on them separately. Cooking, helping with homework, driving to a practice – these are all things that can expanded on in a sentence or bullet point about each one.
- Mention milestones. As there are things to celebrate with having significant family duties, they should be included. Example: “Tutor my younger brother (8) in math each night for one hour. He recently got his first ‘A’ on a math test after a month of me helping him.”
These are beginning ideas for any student who helps with younger siblings, cares for an older relative, or holds a part-time job. We encourage students to begin noting these responsibilities in SCOIR so that they can more easily remember and account for their time when the college application process becomes more active.
*Used with permission from “Making Work and Family Responsibilities a Big Deal” by Evan Sprinkle, Associate Vice President of Undergraduate Admissions at Queens University of Charlotte, March 03, 2021.