Conversation with a CMC admission officer

For applicants preparing to meet with an admission officer. Here is what you might expect to be asked. 

A meeting with a CMC admissions representative

Applicant: Hi, my name is [applicant’s name], and I’m applying to Claremont McKenna this year. So, I just wanted to ask you if you have any tips you could give me on making the video supplement?

CMC rep: Hi! It’s great to meet you. So, what makes you a good fit for CMC?

Applicant: Well, I’d like to make sure the admissions committee knows how well my academic interests fit with CMC. I talked about this in my Common App essay in detail, but essentially I was totally a math major, until I realized that math wasn’t as practical as other fields like economics or finance.

C: That’s great! There’s one thing I would make sure you specify though: how much you enjoy learning new things in those fields.

Applicant: Definitely! I love learning new things, whether that’s in economics or something totally different like English. Actually, another reason I love CMC is its interdisciplinary focus.

C: Yeah! That’s a good thing to say, but top liberal arts schools like CMC get a lot of academically qualified applicants. What makes you stand out?

Applicant: In addition to being a good academic fit, I’ll also get involved on campus. Many of the things I do now, like academic league or basketball, I know I’ll be able to continue.

C: If you have, like, one particular experience that really stands out to you from one of your extracurriculars, that might also be a good thing to say.

Applicant: Yeah, one thing is I work at Mathnasium, and so one of the things I had to do was convert all our paper records into electronic records. It was one of those things where my boss expected it’d take me like two days or something, and I did it in three hours. So, the funny part of that is now my boss will use, like, a “max day” as a length of time because she always says I’m really fast at doing things like that.

C: That’s perfect! One other thing you want to make sure you do in the video supplement is say things that aren’t on your application at all. Here’s an example: have you heard of a stupid human trick?

Applicant: Yeah (laughs)! I actually have a really random one. If you give me a word, I can tell you how many letters are in it.

C: All right... Claremont McKenna!

Applicant: Sixteen.

C: *looks around* Elevator!

Applicant: Eight.

C: Not bad! Maybe we’ll have to admit you!

Applicant: Yeah, right? If you could work that out, that’d be great.

C: *Doors open* Well, I’ve gotta get going. It was great talking to you, and good luck on making that video supplement! *leaves*

Applicant: (Thinking) That was a really good conversation, and I said a lot of what I’d want to say. Maybe I should just use that as the video supplement...