Thursday, April 22, 2010


Application season is finally over. *breathes sigh of relief*

It's good to see so many fresh faces on this blog--congratulations new MFA students (and MFA Chronicles bloggers)!

One thing I had wondered about, but wanted to wait until after application season ended to post: recruitment.

Specifically, I found myself trying to dazzle people who asked me about UH with the things I most love about my program, and I could find myself jabbering a little too much. I didn't want to just drown new recruits with information.

So I wondered, is it better to tell recruits all the things they don't/can't know about the program/location, or did y'all try just asking the recruits questions about what they were interested in, and letting them talk?

I also wondered this same thing when we were trying to hire teachers (and would have lunches with them or go to their craft talks): is it best to try to dazzle the teachers by jabbering at them, or should we be quiet and let them tell us what they are interested in? (A big shout-out to the two new poetry teachers at UH: Kevin Prufer and Ange Mlinko!)

I'm sure it's different for each person, but any general rules y'all follow in recruitment?

*CLARIFICATION* By dazzle and jabber, I don't mean being dishonest. I just mean talking too much.

I believe incoming students need to know exactly what they are getting into, only sometimes there's so much to tell them about the great pros (and the few inevitable cons), that it's a little hard for them to get a word in, edge-wise...

Sorry for any confusion!


  1. I've received a lot of emails and one call from prospective GMU applicants and I just tried to be honest about my experience. The truth is that my writing (and my reading) has improved 100 percent and so I am grateful to the program and incredibly happy to be there. I hope that my story has helped some of the prospective students I've been in contact with to decide to come to GMU.

  2. I only had the chance to email with a few potential students (and I don't think any of them ended up choosing GCSU, either because they weren't admitted to the program or other reasons).

    I'm as honest as possible with people who have questions about this program. For example, I've made sure to express how happy I am with the program, but also not hide the fact that my fiance has been unable to find a job here. These are the more practical things that people should be aware of.

  3. Agreed about honesty being important, and I guess awareness of how the experience is being/has been shaped. Interesting.

  4. I tend to take questions from potential students or direct them to blog posts I wrote about my experience. Heck this blog will be a good place to direct people too!

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  6. I wonder if I talked too much lol. I just told good and bad even if questions weren't asked. I think I told the bad (and there wasn't anything significant) just so people would know I was being honest about the good. Most of my bad was about the city and not the program. I was surprised about how emotionally invested I got in convincing some people lol.

  7. I tried to ask questions to the incoming students and find out what they wanted to know and then I may quite possibly have talked too much in response to those questions. I really like the program and the people here so I may have jabbered on, but like JayTee and Rachel, I was honest about the reality of the location, and I think some of the recruits appreciated that.

  8. Yes, I had to be honest about some ugliness regarding location -- it is unbelievably expensive to live here, and I told them that in no uncertain terms.


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