SHARING A ‘LOLLYPOP MOMENT’
All told, it’s a packed schedule of events with talks by faculty on academic opportunities, student engagement, the Kelley family culture, the spirit of IU and even an endorsement from a leading recruiter of undergraduate talent, Ernst & Young, which sent a senior manager to speak. Many of these speeches are for the parents alone. The high schoolers are sent off to breakout sessions led by students who relate their academic and student experiences. Prospective students return for Dean Kesner’s closing comments at 12: 20 p.m. which is followed by student-led tours of the Kelley Living Learning Center, the dedicated dorms for business students, and the Hodge Hall Undergraduate Center.
But there are also some special events, including a “success luncheon” to help close the deal on the most highly valued admits. Caroline Cronin, 21, a senior who mentors incoming freshmen, will share her Kelley narrative before some 40 high-achieving admits who already have been offerred scholarships to attend the school. Cronin says she will center her talk around advice her father always dispensed about the need to balance humility with confidence.
Cronin says she wants everyone to know her own “lollypop moment” at Kelley, a reference to a highly popular TED talk by Drew Dudley in which a lollypop moment is a time when someone does something that makes a person feel fundamentally better. “It was when I first came here and Megan Ray (admissions director) saw me and gave me a big hug. She is such a powerful force of positive energy that I felt instantly valued and wanted here at Kelley.”
SHOW ME THE MONEY
Mary Grace Marxer, a 21-year-old junior and a member of the Dean’s Insight Board with Cronin, also will be at the luncheon to answer questions any admits might have. “When I came to IU, I knew I would get a stellar education at a great value,” says, Marxer, who initially imagined herself going on to law school or other graduate study. “But after my first semester, the mentorships I got encouraged me to open my eyes to all kinds of opportunities.” She discovered a passion for investment banking and will be interning in Chicago this summer with William Blair.
Many of the admits say that Kelley is their first choice, including Evan Phillips, who appears ready to turn down both Michigan and Santa Clara for the honor of coming to Bloomington. Nathan Lezon, from Chicago, says his decision will hinge on a couple of factors.
“It’s going to come down to two factors,” he says, “the school as a whole and whether I’m given a scholarship.” Asked if money will be the deciding factor, Lezon’s father shakes his head no. But just as quickly he puts on his best ‘Show Me The Money’ face, turning to Executive Associate Dean Soni and says, “But if you want to offer us $10,000…”
‘PEOPLE HERE ARE REALLY AS NICE AS THEY SEEM. THAT IS THE TRUTH’
Ultimately, the success of Direct Admit Day can’t be fully assessed until May 1, the final deadline for admits to make up their minds. Typically, there is a surge of acceptances in the final week leading up to the deadline, though three out of four admits accept earlier.
But for many students, staff and faculty at Kelley who were involved in the extensive planning and execution of the event, Direct Admit Day already is a success. After all, it is another culture-bonding experience that only reinforces the devotion and gung-ho attitude of the school’s many stakeholders.
“What you see is what you get here,” says Dean Kesner. “The enthusiasm from the faculty, the staff and the students is genuine. People are really as nice here as they seem. That is the truth.”