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Alumni Volunteers

A group of students posing with a large letter O with Rush Rhees Library in the background.

Next-gen Yellowjackets

Bring the best and brightest to Rochester

Each year, we receive more applications for the same number of spots, making the process of selecting a new class incredibly rewarding, but also more challenging. Your success as a graduate of the University helps us spread the word to prospective students and families. Learn how you can be part of this important process—and know that we appreciate your help and input throughout!

Alumni interviewer

Alumni interviewing season is roughly four months long, from early fall through early February. Throughout this time, alumni receive requests directly from applicants and follow up to arrange for an in-person, virtual, or telephone interview. Within 48 hours of completing an interview, the alumnus submits an evaluation, which is used by admissions counselors as part of the application review process.

Because all applicants are encouraged to interview as part of the application process, thousands of interviews are conducted by alumni and staff each year, and this number continues to grow. We are seeking alumni who can take on the significant commitment that this role requires of representatives of the University in terms of time and responsiveness.

When follow-through is not timely and professional, it reflects poorly on the admissions office and the University, and negatively impacts the student and our relationship with their high school. If your professional or personal schedule would inhibit your responsiveness, alumni interviewing may not be the best volunteer opportunity for you.

Alumni interviewers are responsible for:

  • Reaching out to (possibly multiple) prospective students who’ve requested an interview with you to schedule a mutually convenient interview method, date, time, and location (keeping in mind where the student is domestically or internationally located).
  • Dedicating time to self-train by using the available alumni interview training materials.
  • Devoting time on weekends and/or evenings as needed throughout the season for interviewing events and/or several 30-minute time blocks for individual interviews.
  • Monitoring one’s interview requests on a regular or daily basis during the interviewing season and following up accordingly within two days of a request.
  • Submitting an evaluation within 48 hours after an interview, using the prompts on the interviewing evaluation form as a guide for the information most valuable for admissions staff.

If a reasonable effort to meet these expectations is not maintained by an alumni interviewer, the Office of Admissions reserves the opportunity to remove the interviewer from active status temporarily or permanently.

Prior to submitting the application form, please take a few moments to consider the questions below to help both us and you determine if alumni interviewing is a good match.

  • Why are you interested in being an alumni interviewer?
  • Do you have enough time in your schedule to monitor your interviewer account and requests, and then conduct and evaluate your interviews?
  • Would you describe yourself as an “active listener”?
  • Do you have any interviewing experience? (Prior experience isn’t required to be an alumni interviewer but it can be helpful.)
  • What is your comfort level interacting with high school students?
  • How would you describe your current level of knowledge about the college admissions process?
  • Do you have relatives who may be applying to the University within the next three years? (Please note that we require interviewers to take the year off during the application season when their relative is applying.)

College fairs

College fairs are a great option for alumni who are interested in volunteering, but don’t have the availability to become an interviewer. Volunteering at college fairs is also an opportunity for alumni to create or increase awareness of the University of Rochester in their hometown.

As a college fair volunteer, you work with our team to expand our outreach efforts to prospective students, parents, and high school guidance counselors across the country by representing Rochester at your local college fairs. When our admissions staff cannot attend a fair event, but recognize the importance of attending, we reach out to our volunteer alumni for assistance.

You don’t have to know everything about the University in order to staff a fair. All that’s required of you is a few hours of your time, and your enthusiasm for Rochester—we’ll provide the rest. College fairs are typically a first point of contact, so questions are usually general and the handout materials we provide are in high demand and address most questions.

Testimonials

Check out what your fellow alumni have to say about volunteering at college fairs.

“It was an easy decision to volunteer to attend a college fair on Rochester’s behalf. I worked on campus as a Meridian during my time in Rochester, and I always enjoyed sharing the wonderful stories and opportunities that made my college years so special. I had the opportunity to meet a few students who had gone on my tour and then chosen to come to UR, and while I’m certain I wasn’t the reason they chose to attend Rochester, they always said they remembered their campus tour. I think in the current age of virtual tours and online comparison tools, people underestimate the value of a face-to-face interaction and seeing and hearing the excitement in your voice when we talk about the opportunities Rochester has to offer.”

“Even in the internet age, characterized by various new admissions tactics (virtual tours, online videos, and chat rooms), college fairs remain a vital tool for University of Rochester representatives to communicate with prospective students and their parents. Face-to-face interaction is still the ideal way to convey enthusiasm for Rochester to high school students who might not have had the opportunity to visit campus or may have additional questions best posed in person. Attendance at these events is also a concrete manifestation of Rochester’s commitment to recruit students from a given region, as well as the enthusiasm of local alumni for their alma mater.”

“Representing the University of Rochester at college fairs is a really enjoyable experience. While prospective students and parents can read the pamphlets and visit websites to get general information, there’s an element of humanity and connection that can only be established in person. Admittedly, I’m not as informed of the nuances and particulars that admissions counselor would be privy to, but the University provides more than enough materials to make me feel comfortable with most general questions.

“Fortunately, I’ve come to find these events are more interactive than I had originally suspected and as an alumnus of the University, I also have a unique perspective that students are more eager to hear than the typical impersonal flyers and stats. When combining my personal experience with the fact that Rochester naturally attracts inquisitive, hardworking, top-caliber applicants, working these events are enriching for both the students and me alike.

“One of my greatest joys at the events is honestly discussing the intensity and demands of the University academic programs and having interested students salivate at the opportunity of being challenged that way. Parents are also very responsive to me as an alumni representative and are very eager in learning more from someone who’s ‘been through it.’”

“I have had several great experiences staffing college fairs and talking with prospective students about Rochester. Talking to parents about the University and helping students wade through the myriad information available is a very rewarding experience. Being a ‘salesperson’ in nature and having had a truly wonderful experience at Rochester makes it easy to ‘sell’ the University to prospective students and parents. There is a completely different perspective staffing a fair when you are a Rochester alum. The students really want to know what it’s like to attend Rochester, and who better than an alum to fill them in? I think the parents also get a much better feeling about the University by talking to alumni versus talking with someone who works for the University.

“I was a bit nervous at first, not knowing what kinds of questions would come my way. But my nerves were quickly calmed by talking about our alma mater and the wonderful and innovative programs Rochester provides. The ‘cheat sheet’ the Office of Admissions provided was also a big help! By the end of the evening, after repeating the same statistics over and over, I was a pro! The Office of Admissions provides all the tools necessary to have a successful, rewarding experience staffing a college fair.

“It’s also wonderful to speak with parents about the finances of college life! The statistics the Office of Admissions provides prove to be a welcome surprise for parents who think that Rochester is financially unreachable. Parents are equally impressed by the Take Five program!”

Represent Rochester at college fairs near you

College fairs generally take place from September–November and March–May. Sign up with UR Involved and check your email inbox for fairs in your area.

Sign up today

Frequently asked questions about college fair volunteering

When the Office of Admissions receives an invitation to attend an important college fair but is unable to attend, we reach out to alumni volunteers to attend on behalf of the University.

Please contact Beth Luke, director of volunteer programs at beth.luke@rochester.edu with any questions.

After you notify admissions of your interest in staffing a particular fair, you’ll receive a confirmation email from us before we RSVP for the event and pay any applicable attendance fee. Please include your full mailing address so we can arrange shipping of the college fair materials. An RSVP from the University signals a commitment to attend that event. Every possible effort should be made to meet that commitment.

We do not reimburse costs of travel to volunteer college fairs.

Roughly two weeks prior to the fair date, a box of materials will be shipped through FedEx two-day shipping to arrive at the address you’ve provided. Please open the box and familiarize yourself with the contents. Bring the box to the fair and set up the table provided in the way of your choosing. We estimate the number of attendees and do our best to provide the quantity of materials necessary. Many of the fairs provide water and snacks to participants.

You will be attending an event as a representative of the University of Rochester and should dress in a way that reflects that role. If the invitation suggests otherwise, you may follow that suggestion, but please dress neatly and consider wearing Rochester gear.

You are not expected to know answers to all the questions students and their families may have at a college fair. The materials will guide you, which is why it’s important to open the box and familiarize yourself with the contents when they arrive.

We strongly suggest that you explore the admissions website to learn about what our current focus is, to view the on- and off-campus videos we’ve produced, and to take the virtual tour.

Encourage students to visit our website and to complete a prospect card, which will trigger additional mailings to the student.

For very interested students/parents with specific questions, Office of Admissions business cards are included in the box of materials. Our contact information is also located on each of the materials sent to you.

If they have academic department-specific questions, advise those students to contact the academic department directly via the department page on the website.

A pre-paid/addressed FedEx label will be included in the box of materials. We ask that you place any remaining materials, including completed prospect cards and the table banner, into the box and drop it at a FedEx facility of your choosing.

The fact page and printable fact sheet (PDF) are quick, up-to-date summaries of admissions information, including cost of tuition, diversity of recent classes, academic statistics, etc. The fact sheet is a very popular item and will be provided in your box of materials.

Sign up with UR Involved and check your email inbox for fairs in your area.

If volunteering to staff college fairs won’t work for you, consider volunteering as an interviewer. If you have additional questions about being an interview volunteer, you can contact Beth Luke at beth.luke@rochester.edu.

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