Our alumni volunteers are excited to learn more about you and to share their Sewanee experiences!
Things to remember
- Please don't worry if you're not able to schedule an off-campus appointment with an alumni volunteer. Appointments and interviews are not required for first-year applicants. Sewanee does, however, offer alumni off-campus appointments for prospective seniors in high school, transfer students, and applicants to evaluate their fit with Sewanee. Not participating will not negatively impact our admission decision.
- Alumni off-campus appointments may be offered in-person or virtually. Sewanee evaluates both types of appointments equally.
- Student names and contact information are provided to Sewanee alumni volunteers, who will contact you directly. There’s no pre-screening, and alumni volunteers don’t have access to your application.
- Alumni volunteers receive in-person and virtual training to ensure you have a positive experience.
- When you receive an invitation for an alumni off-campus appointment, we strongly encourage you to make time for the opportunity. If you have to decline the interview, please respond to the alumnus or alumna explaining why you can’t participate in the conversation. If you have concerns about specific circumstances as they relate to your appointment, contact the Sewanee Admission office. Be sure to follow up directly with the alumnus or alumna who conducted your conversation afterwards.
Once you request an alumni off-campus appointment, the Sewanee Office of Admission will begin coordinating your appointment within 48-72 hours. An alumni volunteer will reach out to you within 10 business days.
- We suggest that you frequently check the email address provided on your appointment request form, as this is the most likely way you’ll be contacted to schedule your appointment. Alumni volunteers may also contact you through the phone number listed in your application. Please respond courteously and promptly (within 3-5 days). Remember, this exchange is the start of the conversation with a Sewanee alum, so first impressions count. If alumni volunteers don’t receive a prompt response from you, then they might assume you wish to decline the appointment.
- We know you’ll be tempted to research the volunteer assigned to your appointment. Please don’t. In the same way that we ask interviewers not to look up prospective Sewanee students and applicants online, we ask that you refrain from researching the alum assigned to your appointment using internet searches or connecting with them through social media. This appointment is designed to be a fresh conversation between two interested (and interesting) but previously unknown individuals.
Where to go
- Alumni appointments are conducted in public spaces, frequently coffee shops, offices, libraries, and schools. Make sure that you’re familiar with the location beforehand and leave extra time for potential travel delays. If you think you’ll be late, please let your interviewer know by phone. Virtual interviews are conducted using Skype, Google Hangout, other similar chat software, or by phone.
What to wear
- Dress as you would for a school photograph or a presentation in class. Be comfortable and let your personal style show through so you can focus on the interview, not what you’re wearing.
What to Bring
Just yourself. Please don’t bring a resume or a portfolio. Your passions, personal story, and questions will bring the conversation to life.
The alumni off-campus appointment isn’t a test. It’s a way for you to share information about yourself in your own words. The conversation will focus on your interests. It’s also an opportunity to learn more about the University.
These are the type of questions your interviewer may ask:
- Can you tell me a little about yourself?
- What’s important to you?
- What are your current academic and/or extracurricular interests?
- Tell me about your high school and what you enjoy the most about it.
- What classes, programs, and activities at Sewanee are exciting to you?
- What plans do you have for your future?
Your off-campus appointment will also include time for you to ask questions. Make the most of this opportunity by thinking about your questions beforehand. Write them down and bring them with you if it makes you more comfortable. Sewanee is a dynamic and ever-changing University, so the Sewanee alumni volunteer conducting your conversation may not be an expert on campus life as it is today, but their experience will offer you valuable perspective.
As you prepare your own questions for your interview, consider including the following Sewanee-specific questions on your list:
- Can you tell me about the most influential parts of your Sewanee experience?
- What is one of your favorite Sewanee traditions?
- In what ways are you still connected to campus and your Sewanee peers?
- What are the advantages of the Sewanee alumni network?
- How did your Sewanee education prepare you for the workplace? Did it help you find an internship, job, or admission to a graduate school program?
After your interview, a quick thank-you note is always appreciated. Beyond expressing your gratitude, no further contact with the interviewer is necessary or expected.
The alumni volunteer who conducted your appointment will submit a summary of your discussion to the Admission Committee, to be added to your official record.
At some point after the appointment, you may receive a survey asking you to evaluate your experience. This survey is optional and anonymous. The information will be used by the Sewanee Admission Alumni Program to continue to improve the process for all prospective students and applicants, so please be honest when providing feedback.