The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Senior interviewers share positives of position

Senior interviewers meet one-on-one with prospective students during their application process. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette College Admissions)

When prospective students arrive on College Hill for their interviews, most don’t sit down with an admissions officer. Instead, they meet with a senior interviewer — a Lafayette senior who will get to know them in ways that may not show on their applications.

Bri Braswell, an assistant director of admissions and the supervisor of the senior interviewer (SI) program, explained that the program benefits both those being interviewed and those conducting the interviews, which have been offered both in-person and virtually since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With students, it really gives you a chance to see if that school is going to be a fit for you,” Braswell said. “There’s so much that you can do by reading on a website or hearing from other people, but this is a chance to sit down and get a sense from a Lafayette community member.”

Louisa Rose ‘23, who works as the coordinator for the SI program, agreed that current students can provide unique insight to those considering Lafayette.

“What really was meaningful about my Lafayette interview was that I learned more about the school from a student perspective and it felt very authentic,” Rose said. “Also, having that peer-to-peer conversation, I think, is really valuable. It changes … how comfortable a student may feel, so I think it’s definitely an opportunity to learn about them authentically.”

Meredith O’Neill ‘23, another SI, has seen firsthand how speaking to a current student can positively impact interviewees.

“I always start my interviews with, ‘Take a deep breath. This is just a conversation and I was in your position,’” O’Neill said. “I had one girl literally visibly sink into her chair and was like, ‘Okay, this is fine.’”

A particularly memorable moment happened for O’Neill when a student she interviewed that was interested in English and art history — O’Neill’s two majors — stopped her after it was over to thank her.

“She said she had no idea all of those things were possible, and she thanked me for taking the time and giving my input because it was really beneficial to her,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill then took the student to see Van Wickle Hall, the geology building on campus, where an ice cream social for geology majors happened to be taking place.

“Seeing that and seeing how excited she got and just the connection that was made, not just between her and I but in terms of everything involving Lafayette … this is why I’m doing this. This is why I’m here,” O’Neill said.

According to Rose, the most standout interviews happen when students are fully themselves.

“It’s been so cool and amazing to get to meet all of these prospective students,” she said. “Some of the things we’ve bonded over have been just completely random, like our cats both being named after Greek gods. When it goes from an interview to a conversation … Those are the moments you really connect with a student.”

Information about the interview process can be found on the admissions website. Students can apply to be SIs for the following interview cycle, which takes place over the summer and through the fall semester, during the spring of their junior year.

According to Braswell, the interview process to become an SI is meant to reflect the unpredictability of the position. As one of the activities, juniors interviewing for the job bring in a “heartifact,” which is an item that is personally meaningful to them, and present it to their fellow students.

“It allows us to see in a potential SI how they share something that may be personal to them because you never know what kind of conversation is going to come up when you’re with a student,” Braswell said.

Both O’Neill and Rose believe their time as an SI has made them better interview candidates as they move into the post-graduate and professional worlds.

“I’ve seen what I think is a good interview, and [I know] how to ensure that I’m putting my best foot forward and ensure that I’m articulating what I want to articulate and it comes off correctly,” Rose said.

“I’ve been applying to grad school and I’ve had interviews, and having that admissions interview experience … gave me the confidence and skills to navigate what stands out to people in an interview,” O’Neill added.

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About the Contributor
Madeline Marriott
Madeline Marriott, Editor-in-Chief
Maddie (she/her) is a senior English major with a Government & Law minor. As the Editor-in-Chief, a Mentor Writing Associate, a Senior Student Contributor for Lafayette Communications, a Communications Intern for the Office of Sustainability, co-founder and Vice President of English Club, and a Senior Interviewer for Lafayette Admissions, no writing happens on campus without her knowing about it. Her Google Calendar would make your head spin. She is a die-hard Swiftie and Phillies fan, a collector of tote bags, a builder of a Hay Day empire, and an avid Goodreads and Letterboxd user. She smokes cigars and uses an old-timey typewriter and notepad in the newsroom.

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