How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

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autarkh
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How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby autarkh » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:57 pm

I've read in several places that it's advantageous to "put a face to a name." Tomorrow, I'll be touring my top choice school -- which still hasn't gotten back to me -- and sitting in on some 1L classes. I want to raise the profile of my app, but how exactly should I go about it? Should I ask to meet with an admissions officer or the dean? If so, on what grounds? Is just showing up enough to demonstrate interest?

Basically, I don't want to shoot myself in the foot. If it's generally acceptable to just chat with an admissions person, I'm confident I could do it in a way that would reflect well on me. But I don't know if I should even be asking to talk to someone. Does anyone have any experience with this?

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superserial
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby superserial » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:07 pm

so you're "that guy"?

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CG614
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby CG614 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:07 pm

autarkh wrote:I've read in several places that it's advantageous to "put a face to a name." Tomorrow, I'll be touring my top choice school -- which still hasn't gotten back to me -- and sitting in on some 1L classes. I want to raise the profile of my app, but how exactly should I go about it? Should I ask to meet with an admissions officer or the dean? If so, on what grounds? Is just showing up enough to demonstrate interest?

Basically, I don't want to shoot myself in the foot. If it's generally acceptable to just chat with an admissions person, I'm confident I could do it in a way that would reflect well on me. But I don't know if I should even be asking to talk to someone. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Too late.

viking138
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby viking138 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:08 pm

Absolutely you can ask to talk to an admissions person! You can say you've applied and it's your top choice, mention why it's your top choice (showing research) and asking informed questions, etc. Just don't ask what the status of your application is or anything. You should make sure they know two things after your visit: (1) they're your top choice, (2) you're informed. I've seen horrific examples of people asking terribly dumb questions that can be answered on the front page of a school's website. Ask detailed, informed questions that if possible relate to your interests (perhaps something on your resume, for me in interviews I asked about regulatory law since I interned at a govt regulatory agency).

The most important thing is to be pleasant and appear intelligent. It will help that you're visiting and expressing your interest although how much it will help is anybody's guess. Good luck!!

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autarkh
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby autarkh » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:08 pm

superserial wrote:so you're "that guy"?


No. I don't want to be "that guy," which is precisely why I'm asking.

Obviously, everyone that tours a school is at least nominally interested in it. My question is if I should leave it at that.

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CG614
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby CG614 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:11 pm

OK, to be fair. I think you risk looking like "that guy", unless you have something to add, or a well thought out and pertinent question to ask. Just stating that it is your top choice probably doesn't cut it. IMO. You can do that with an LOCI.

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autarkh
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby autarkh » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:13 pm

viking138 wrote:Absolutely you can ask to talk to an admissions person! You can say you've applied and it's your top choice, mention why it's your top choice (showing research) and asking informed questions, etc. Just don't ask what the status of your application is or anything. You should make sure they know two things after your visit: (1) they're your top choice, (2) you're informed. I've seen horrific examples of people asking terribly dumb questions that can be answered on the front page of a school's website. Ask detailed, informed questions that if possible relate to your interests (perhaps something on your resume, for me in interviews I asked about regulatory law since I interned at a govt regulatory agency).

The most important thing is to be pleasant and appear intelligent. It will help that you're visiting and expressing your interest although how much it will help is anybody's guess. Good luck!!


Thanks.

I would never ask about my status. The questions you describe seem more appropriate for whomever happens to be guiding the tour, though. It seems that my motives would be transparently obvious if I specifically held these questions for an admissions person.

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autarkh
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby autarkh » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:15 pm

CG614 wrote:OK, to be fair. I think you risk looking like "that guy", unless you have something to add, or a well thought out and pertinent question to ask. Just stating that it is your top choice probably doesn't cut it. IMO. You can do that with an LOCI.


That's what I was thinking.

I do have one question that I know is very pertinent and probably requires a person with some authority within the school to answer. But I could probably get it addressed elsewhere. I think I'll just keep my mouth shut unless they come to me. :)

viking138
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby viking138 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:16 pm

autarkh wrote:
viking138 wrote:Absolutely you can ask to talk to an admissions person! You can say you've applied and it's your top choice, mention why it's your top choice (showing research) and asking informed questions, etc. Just don't ask what the status of your application is or anything. You should make sure they know two things after your visit: (1) they're your top choice, (2) you're informed. I've seen horrific examples of people asking terribly dumb questions that can be answered on the front page of a school's website. Ask detailed, informed questions that if possible relate to your interests (perhaps something on your resume, for me in interviews I asked about regulatory law since I interned at a govt regulatory agency).

The most important thing is to be pleasant and appear intelligent. It will help that you're visiting and expressing your interest although how much it will help is anybody's guess. Good luck!!


Thanks.

I would never ask about my status. The questions you describe seem more appropriate for whomever happens to be guiding the tour, though. It seems that my motives would be transparently obvious if I specifically held these questions for an admissions person.


A lot of times when they agree to speak with you it's called an "informational interview," it's not an interview. They expect you to be asking them questions about the school. So you're not at all self-serving in asking these questions. I'm sure you can come up with some questions you're actually curious about. The interview probably wouldn't be very long either.

As a last note, if the school is in an area you're not familiar with, at the end of the interview you could ask if they have any recommendations for good lunch or dinner places (depending on time of day). This might sound odd but it's a nice way to talk about something other than just school which can make you stand out more -- and you could find a nice place to eat too :)

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autarkh
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby autarkh » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:20 pm

viking138 wrote:
autarkh wrote:
viking138 wrote:Absolutely you can ask to talk to an admissions person! You can say you've applied and it's your top choice, mention why it's your top choice (showing research) and asking informed questions, etc. Just don't ask what the status of your application is or anything. You should make sure they know two things after your visit: (1) they're your top choice, (2) you're informed. I've seen horrific examples of people asking terribly dumb questions that can be answered on the front page of a school's website. Ask detailed, informed questions that if possible relate to your interests (perhaps something on your resume, for me in interviews I asked about regulatory law since I interned at a govt regulatory agency).

The most important thing is to be pleasant and appear intelligent. It will help that you're visiting and expressing your interest although how much it will help is anybody's guess. Good luck!!


Thanks.

I would never ask about my status. The questions you describe seem more appropriate for whomever happens to be guiding the tour, though. It seems that my motives would be transparently obvious if I specifically held these questions for an admissions person.


A lot of times when they agree to speak with you it's called an "informational interview," it's not an interview. They expect you to be asking them questions about the school. So you're not at all self-serving in asking these questions. I'm sure you can come up with some questions you're actually curious about. The interview probably wouldn't be very long either.

As a last note, if the school is in an area you're not familiar with, at the end of the interview you could ask if they have any recommendations for good lunch or dinner places (depending on time of day). This might sound odd but it's a nice way to talk about something other than just school which can make you stand out more -- and you could find a nice place to eat too :)


Thanks for the advice Viking. Your suggestions have been very helpful.

Unfortunately (?), I went to the school in question for undergrad. If I asked about the best place to eat, I would be thought a fool in addition to a tool. :)

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neskerdoo
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby neskerdoo » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:28 pm

"sitting in on some 1L classes"? good lord

legends159
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby legends159 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:30 pm

then find a chance to chat it up about the location and the happenings with the university/area. Anything so you don't seem like another eager prospective student.

Oh and if you visit a class, please don't raise your hand. But do show up early and chat with students to get a vibe of the student body.

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MURPH
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby MURPH » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:37 pm

If the school has any new programs you can ask how it is going. Try to search through the web site and see what they are bragging about, planning to start next year or just started this year.

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autarkh
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby autarkh » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:40 pm

legends159 wrote:then find a chance to chat it up about the location and the happenings with the university/area. Anything so you don't seem like another eager prospective student.

Oh and if you visit a class, please don't raise your hand. But do show up early and chat with students to get a vibe of the student body.


LOL. A friend who is 1L at the school in question said that someone did this first semester. Multiple times. The professor was furious. I wonder how that turned out for their admissions.

erniesto
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby erniesto » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:52 pm

Isn't this something that comes naturally? I always blamed genetics and social upbringing for my toolness. :o

We were supposed to talk about the cool law school programs? I ended up talking about sports with one counselor and then street culture and bar life with another. Damnit!

hsprophet
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby hsprophet » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:46 am

Every time I've scheduled a visit at a school, they either made an appointment for me to meet with an admissions officer (usually an associate dean) by default or asked if I wanted to meet with him/her. During your visit, just ask if you can speak with someone in admissions to answer any questions you may have. It may sould like you are "that guy" if you ask specifically for the associate dean. But no matter who you meet with, I'm sure they will spread the word around about you anyway.

When you meet, come with a few good questions. I'm sure there are many things you would like in-depth information about (clinic, law review, etc.). As long as neither of you have the personality of a piece of lumber, just asking a couple of questions can lead to a long coversation about the law school in general.

When I was a student in grad school, I would help the admissions office by giving tours and meeting with prospective students. The admissions staff always asked me what I thought of them after they left. So word does get around about you.

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Borhas
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby Borhas » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:36 pm

first, you already appear to be that guy, since your desire is clearly to gain an advantage. What you want to do, is to deceive them into thinking you are a genuine, socially fluid person who just wants more information about the school they are interested in (rather than merely play on their emotions to gain an advantage). This decent person would likely schedule an appointment to these the things as you have done, and on those days he would introduce himself in a congenial way to those who will be helping him learn about the prospective school. If you are lucky those people are influential and your appearance of good nature will make an impression on them.

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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby OperaSoprano » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:45 pm

If OP is polite and humble about it, I honestly don't see a problem. The idea is to keep it low key, however, and I honestly would consider waiting and saving this tactic in case a waitlist is in the works. This really isn't the sort of thing you want to do more than once.

Didn't most of you meet with adcomms in person at some point before you were admitted?

logicman86
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby logicman86 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:54 pm

autarkh wrote:I've read in several places that it's advantageous to "put a face to a name." Tomorrow, I'll be touring my top choice school -- which still hasn't gotten back to me -- and sitting in on some 1L classes. I want to raise the profile of my app, but how exactly should I go about it? Should I ask to meet with an admissions officer or the dean? If so, on what grounds? Is just showing up enough to demonstrate interest?

Basically, I don't want to shoot myself in the foot. If it's generally acceptable to just chat with an admissions person, I'm confident I could do it in a way that would reflect well on me. But I don't know if I should even be asking to talk to someone. Does anyone have any experience with this?


Only you can answer this question.

Are you charming? When you're in a classroom or at a party, do people all seem to like your personality off the bat? If yes then by all means meet as many as people as you can.

If you're a regular guy then let your application do the talking.

As far as asking to meet with the dean, what I will say is this. I am not a dean, and never will be a dean but if I was a dean, how would I feel if some kid who hasn't even applied and is definitely not yet a student asked to take time out of my day when I could spend that time preparing for my 4 PM meeting, responding to e-mail or reading an article on newyorktimes.com? I would say that kid better be pretty darn smart, and pretty darn charming if this will help him and not hurt him.

wired
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby wired » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:59 pm

See the Arrested Development episode where Tobias tries to get his name out when auditioning for Frightened Inmate #2.

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autarkh
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby autarkh » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:51 pm

Borhas wrote:first, you already appear to be that guy, since your desire is clearly to gain an advantage. What you want to do, is to deceive them into thinking you are a genuine, socially fluid person who just wants more information about the school they are interested in (rather than merely play on their emotions to gain an advantage). This decent person would likely schedule an appointment to these the things as you have done, and on those days he would introduce himself in a congenial way to those who will be helping him learn about the prospective school. If you are lucky those people are influential and your appearance of good nature will make an impression on them.


I'm not entirely sure what to make of your post. Admissions is a competitive process, and it would be irrational NOT to seek every advantage possible. This is particularly true for a splitter, like me, who is on the margins of this school's applicant pool. Looking for an extra boost doesn't mean being a clueless asshole--completely oblivious to and, in any case, unconcerned with the norms of this process. It also doesn't mean sabotaging others. What I'm trying to do doesn't fit with my definition of being "that guy". Maybe my definition is wrong. And that's why I'm asking.

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JetstoRJC
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby JetstoRJC » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:00 pm

I did this. Stopped by the admissions office at one of my top choices while visiting the school. The secretary introduced me to the director of admissions, visited for a few minutes, walked out with an offer of admission (this was back in Oct./Nov.).

I guess it could depend on the situation, but visiting with admissions and introducing myself worked for me pretty well.

friendofthedevil
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby friendofthedevil » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:02 pm

wired wrote:See the Arrested Development episode where Tobias tries to get his name out when auditioning for Frightened Inmate #2.



"I'm sick and tired of hearing about how BRILLIANT this Funke is."

hahaha nice. i miss that show.

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Borhas
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby Borhas » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:20 pm

autarkh wrote:
Borhas wrote:first, you already appear to be that guy, since your desire is clearly to gain an advantage. What you want to do, is to deceive them into thinking you are a genuine, socially fluid person who just wants more information about the school they are interested in (rather than merely play on their emotions to gain an advantage). This decent person would likely schedule an appointment to these the things as you have done, and on those days he would introduce himself in a congenial way to those who will be helping him learn about the prospective school. If you are lucky those people are influential and your appearance of good nature will make an impression on them.


I'm not entirely sure what to make of your post. Admissions is a competitive process, and it would be irrational NOT to seek every advantage possible. This is particularly true for a splitter, like me, who is on the margins of this school's applicant pool. Looking for an extra boost doesn't mean being a clueless asshole--completely oblivious to and, in any case, unconcerned with the norms of this process. It also doesn't mean sabotaging others. What I'm trying to do doesn't fit with my definition of being "that guy". Maybe my definition is wrong. And that's why I'm asking.


I don't want to get it into a long series of posts where I call you a tool or whatever other synonyms there are for "that guy". That wasn't my purpose. My purpose was to show you that there is a difference between a good person and someone that tries to appear good.

Your posts gives you the appearance of someone trying to appear good.

Instead of trying to appear good, just be good


Mostly I'm referring to the part about talking to the dean. If you have a legitimate reason to go talk to the dean, then by all means go ahead. But your post made it seem like you had no compelling reason other than getting some face time with an influential person. That is what gave you the appearance of being "That guy"

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pinkzeppelin
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Re: How to "introduce" yourself without coming off as a tool?

Postby pinkzeppelin » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:28 pm

JetstoRJC wrote:I did this. Stopped by the admissions office at one of my top choices while visiting the school. The secretary introduced me to the director of admissions, visited for a few minutes, walked out with an offer of admission (this was back in Oct./Nov.).

I guess it could depend on the situation, but visiting with admissions and introducing myself worked for me pretty well.


That's a pretty awesome. I would've been thrilled. Did you get the feeling that you had already been admitted and he just decided to give it to you then since you were visiting? Or did it seem a sort of last second decision? I'm also interested to hear what school this was.




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