Nikhita Giridhar [NG]: Could you tell us more about all the events that DSAC has organized over the last year?
Nicole Wain & Lisa Twu[NW/LT]: We organized three campus tours a week - nearly a hundred over the year, with just as many student lunches and info sessions. Booth Live was organized once a quarter and First Friday once a month. Through the year, we also facilitated interview greeters (first-year volunteers) to meet with every applicant who was about to be interviewed by the Admissions Committee at Booth.
NG: What was the highlight of the year as co-chairs of DSAC?
NW/LT: Booth Live last November had the highest attendance the event has ever seen. This was also the first time we introduced a new promotional video to prospective students - with humor, and student interviews. This had never been done before and the feedback we received was very positive! We were up on stage, watching everyone’s reactions, playing MC all day and having real touch points with the prospective students in the room. It was gratifying to have them come up to us and tell us how the event changed their perspective of Booth.
NG: You manage a huge team of volunteers to pull all of the events together - what’s that been like?
NW/LT: Our team of student volunteers have been an enormous support to the success of DSAC’s programming. The first years that volunteered extensively far outnumbered the volunteers from years prior. That made the job so easy for us! We had every volunteer slot filled ahead of time - not just early in the year but also as last as May! The second years have continued to volunteer through Winter and Spring - despite knowing that they will never interact with the prospective students as their own classmates. There’s really nothing in it for them except paying it forward and doing it for the school.
NG: What was your vision for the messaging that Booth conveyed to prospective students?
NW/LT: We wanted our events to help us break away from myths - every school has its stereotypes and we have ours - the finance school, the commuter school. By encouraging our volunteers to share stories of the diversity at Booth, the flexible curriculum and opening up LPF to prospective students, we get to influence the perspective each prospective student leaves with. In a sense, we emulate Booth’s values as the first point of contact to prospective students!
NG: What was the one thing that surprised you about being in such a high-impact role?
NW/LT: Realizing early on that we need not be afraid of pitching new ideas was our biggest surprise! We pitched the new Booth Live video to Admissions and were excited by approval and excitement we received. Despite them being particular about the brand and the messaging, they were as enthusiastic as we were about trying out something new. We learnt that we should not be satisfied with how things have been, look for improvements and work towards making a stronger impact on each prospective student that comes our way.
NG: What is your final takeaway from this experience?
NW/LT: We accepted this position knowing that it was all about paying it forward. We knew that we wouldn’t be in classes with most of the prospective students that we met but to know that they appreciated the anecdotes and authenticity of the volunteers meant a great deal to us. We are the student arm of Admissions and the support we got from Kim Epps, Stacey Kole, Julie Morton, all the professors doing mock classes for Booth Live and the co-chairs of student-groups pulling together panels was incredible. DSAC is run entirely by volunteers and we truly believe we had the best group of volunteers making this all possible!
Lisa & Nicole are the outgoing co-chairs of DSAC. They’re commitment to paying it forward has resulted in new legacies for Booth’s outreach to prospective students.