Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Traveling the World through GLOBE

Today we welcome Kristine Leary, a business major who has just returned from studying abroad through the GLOBE program. 

In the past year I have traveled to 22 countries. I have made a presentation in front of executives from one of the largest companies in Europe. I have worked on teams comprised of students from three top universities on three different continents. Most importantly, I have built a network of friends and colleagues that spans from the US to Europe to Asia and back again.

While all of this might sound like something from the life of an international businessman, it was all a part of my life as an international business student with Kenan-Flagler’s GLOBE (Global Learning Opportunities in Business Education Program). This collaboration between UNC, Copenhagen Business School, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong is one of a kind in the world of undergraduate business. Lasting three semesters, the program selects 15 students from each university to live and study first in Copenhagen, then in Hong Kong, and finally in Chapel Hill. Over the course of these 18 months, this international cohort of students learns about the unique business environment in the host country and what it is like to work on multicultural teams.

Perhaps even more important than the coursework, however, GLOBE students get the unique possibility to see the world from a new perspective through the friendships built with their international counterparts and through the travel opportunities the program affords. There are few things as transformative to a person’s point of view as international travel, and international travel with international students by your side provides an even more insightful experience.

While GLOBE is a program demanding academic excellence, the students, especially the Americans, come from all walks of life. In my group there some students who had already traveled the world when GLOBE began and for some it was the first time leaving the country. Two are international students. We have double majors ranging from philosophy to religious studies to mathematics. By any definition of the word, we are diverse. But what we have in common is the quality that is most important when applying to the GLOBE program: we all have a genuine curiosity about the world, a desire to better understand what is beyond our borders.

When I started at Carolina three years ago, I knew I wanted to study abroad, but I never dreamed that I would have the opportunity to study in both Europe and Asia. I never imagined that I would call students from Denmark and Hong Kong my best friends. I never could have known how much I would learn and how many places I would visit over the course of a year. And I never thought it would become such an integral part of shaping who I am today. So I urge any business student to whom this sounds appealing to apply for GLOBE, because you never know where it might take you.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Anatomy of an Application: ECs and Honors

This is the second in our Anatomy of an Application series. Last week we discussed how your application materials all come together. This week, ECs and honors. 

My colleague Melissa Kotacka wrote on the blog a couple years ago that your extracurriculars are like the sprinkles on the cake of your application. Through your ECs, we get to find out what you're interested in, how you've spent your time, and how you interact with your community. It also helps us imagine what kind of impact you could have if you joined the UNC community.

When you get to this section, you'll be asked to report how much time you've committed to each activity and which years you took part in each. You'll also be asked to briefly explain each activity, including any leadership positions held or honors won. You'll quickly realize there's not a lot of space for lengthy explanations, so your challenge is to be as concise as possible, while also giving us all the interesting details.

Your EC list is by necessity a quick snapshot of your extracurricular contributions, but that doesn't mean it can't still be a really colorful, interesting, and engaging snapshot. Focus on your primary activities and list the most important ones first. Think about what your specific contributions and achievements have been in the activity, and be sure you're communicating those things. For instance, don't just tell us you've played field hockey for 4 years. Instead, how about "Play defense on JV and Varsity field hockey teams. As unofficial spirit leader, I've raised awareness of the team's efforts within the school. Voted co-captain senior year."

So what kinds of activities are we looking for? There really isn't any formula. And we're not looking to see that every student is "well-rounded" either. We know that some students have a wide range of interests and do lots of different types of activities, while others are specialists who focus on one or two things. Most people fall somewhere in between these two. So we're not looking for well-rounded students, we're looking for a well-rounded class. And by enrolling all different kinds of students with all different kinds of interests, that's what we get.

You can include whatever activities are important to you in your list, whether it was something you did through your school, community, or church, or whether it was done independently or with friends or family. We just want to understand how you have spent your time, what you're passionate about, and how you've contributed to your community.

Keep in mind, though, that a longer list is not necessarily a better list. In fact, it's really hard to digest a long list that seems to include every imaginable activity. Think about the big picture and where your impact has been most significant. Consider grouping together similar activities. If you've gone on mission trips with your church each summer since freshman year, you can group these together as one item, then list out the specifics of where you went and what you did in the explanation field.

You'll also fill out a separate section for the honors you have won. It's really helpful if you include a short descriptor for the honor to help us understand what it is. The "Sarah Bigdeal Smith Award" might be a huge honor within your school, but we've never heard of it! So, you might list it as "Smith Service Award. One of two juniors selected by faculty based on my work with local homeless shelter."

And last piece of advice: This is not the time to be humble! Don't be shy about sharing what you've accomplished. If bragging doesn't come naturally to you, ask Mom, Dad or a caring friend for help. They'll be more than happy to point out all your stellar personal qualities and hard-earned honors.

Good luck! Please just let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Walk Through the Pit

I happened to walk through the Pit yesterday at lunchtime and had to stop and take some video for you all. There's always so much energy on campus during the first week of classes, and the Pit during lunchtime is definitely the best place to experience it! The "Pit" is the sunken courtyard bordered by the Undergraduate Library, Student Union, Lenoir Dining Hall, and Student Stores. Student groups set up booths, fundraisers, performances and more in the Pit all throughout the year. This is probably the busiest I have ever seen the Pit--it's not normally quite this crazy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Consider Dental Hygiene at Carolina

Today we're excited to welcome Jennifer Harmon, the president of the Dental Hygiene Class of 2013, here to tell us more about the dental hygiene program at Carolina:

Picture this: You walk through the doors of one of the most prestigious dental schools in the country for two unforgettable years. You attend courses designed specifically for dental hygiene and you get to interact first hand with world-renowned professors, dentists, and dental hygienists. You provide important preventive care to actual patients starting in your first year of the dental hygiene program. You make a difference in people’s lives because you have given your patients quality oral health care and life-changing oral health education.

This is what I have experienced and will continue to cherish during my last year in the dental hygiene program. I look back on my first year and realize how much I have grown as a student, as a person, and as a health care provider. As a dental hygiene student, I have conquered the terms of a dental hygienist and different aspects of preventive care: taking medical/dental histories, blood pressure screening, periodontal screening, home care instruction, prophylaxis, fluoride treatments, exposing and processing dental X-rays, periodontal debridement and periodontal maintenance. These terms were once foreign to me, but with the guidance of great educators and determination, they are now a part of my every-day routine.

Students in the dental hygiene program are fortunate to have such an outstanding faculty represent the profession and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They are educators, leaders in their profession, mentors, and role models, each impacting our lives in different ways. The faculty and staff place an emphasis on creating well-rounded dental hygiene health care professionals who will be able to provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services to the public through the promotion of oral health. With their effective leadership, I have no doubt that I will be ready to transition in a year from a dental hygiene student to a licensed dental hygienist!

The future role that dental hygienists may play in the health care delivery system makes our profession exciting. I look forward to creating my own path as a Registered Dental Hygienist, and can’t wait to see the results of my work wherever life may lead me. For those of you who may only have the slightest curiosity about this profession or for those of you who strongly feel that this is your calling, I encourage each of you to look deeper because it has changed my life forever…for the better!

For more information on the dental hygiene major, please visit the UNC Dental Hygiene Programs homepage, or email questions to dentalhygiene@dentistry.unc.edu. You may also consider attending one of they many informational sessions scheduled throughout the year for more information.

Jennifer B. Harmon
UNC Dental Hygiene Class of 2013 President

Friday, August 17, 2012

Welcome Class of 2016!

Welcome to all of our new students moving in this weekend!

Video by the Hinton James (aka "Ho Jo") RA staff. Like the rest of us, your RAs are excited to welcome you to campus!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Anatomy of an Application: How It All Comes Together

The Common App and CFNC are now up, so many of you are already thinking about your applications. (If you're applying via the Common App, you'll notice our school-specific supplement is not yet available, but you can expect it to be up within the next week or two.) As you start working on your application, I thought it would be helpful to discuss in a little more detail the various parts of the application and how you will submit them to us. I'll start today with a big-picture explanation of how all the pieces of your application come together once they arrive in our office. 

When you submit your application either through the Common Application or through CFNC, we assemble all the parts together into an electronic “folder.” It really is just like the old days when we filed paper copies of all of your application materials in manila folders, except now we save lots of trees and we don’t have rows of filing cabinets in our basement! These days, most materials arrive in our office electronically, but we do still get a lot of paper mail, which is scanned and filed electronically. As you submit your application, transcript, letter of recommendation, test scores, and counselor statement, we link each of these documents to your electronic folder. When we’ve received all the requested items, the file is “ready to read” and goes off to the admissions committee for review.

So, how can you know if we’ve received all of your application materials? After you submit your application, we’ll send you an email with instructions on how to access your MyCarolina page. Through MyCarolina, you’ll be able to view your Admissions To-Do List, which will list any outstanding items. Please be aware, though, that in the busiest weeks of application submission, it can take us a few weeks to sort through all of the documents that students are sending and update your To-Do List. Please don’t stress if you see an item on your To-Do List that you know you (or your counselor/teacher) already submitted. We’ll catch up with you as soon as we can.

In the coming weeks, I’ll go into more detail about the various parts of the application, so look for more soon! As always, please leave a comment below with any questions you have.

Friday, August 3, 2012

J-School Tells the Powerful Story of Water in New Multimedia Project

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of corresponding with Stephanie Bullins about 100 Gallons, the latest production from Powering a Nation.

Can you give us a quick orientation to Powering a Nation?
Powering a Nation is a fellowship program offered by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication that aims to report on energy news with transparency, engagement and trust. It was initially funded by News21 as part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, which allowed some of the top journalism schools in the nation to experiment with journalism in the changing landscape of new media. In its fourth year now, Powering a Nation has received more than 45 national and international awards for its storytelling, visuals and interactivity.

Clearly, there’s a strong correlation between this year’s Powering a Nation theme and the UNC academic theme of Water in our World, but why “100 Gallons”?
This year, on the heels of Coal: A Love Story, the Powering a Nation fellows wanted to focus on a more non-traditional form of energy. As we were tossing around ideas for what "powers" our lives, water stood out as an important resource. In the weeks before the project truly started, we spent countless hours brainstorming, pitching stories, revising and pitching again in an endless cycle. Eventually we decided the story we wanted to tell was our deep connection to water, from birth to death. We debated the title for the first several weeks of the project before we finally landed on 100 Gallons, which is the amount of water an average American uses on a daily basis. 100 Gallons, as a title, emphasizes our lifelong connection to water by pointing out the importance we place on it every day.
How did you select the individual stories for the feature reports? (And did the team really spend 7 hours in a sewer?)
In the beginning, we knew we wanted to tell traditional character-driven stories in addition to creating the visually exciting centerpiece video. For some of the stories, the videographers knew what they were going to film. Jon Kasbe, a senior Communications major, had spoken with Steve Duncan and seen his work before meeting up with him in the sewers of New York City (where he really did spend seven hours filming). But some of the stories came to us by surprise. While live-tweeting a fracking rally in Ohio, we happened to meet Christine Moore, a woman struggling with leaving her farm because she feared her water might be contaminated by the controversial natural gas drilling practice. She invited us back to her home and we followed her on a hunch that her story would be powerful. Now Christine's story, which took three visits to Ohio to capture, has become one of the larger feature stories on the site. 
Now that the site has launched, what’s next?
Now that we've finished this project, most of the fellows and student contributors have been thrust into the "real world," where we're all looking for jobs, while a few of the team members will be returning to UNC to finish their undergraduate or graduate degrees. We plan to keep promoting 100 Gallons and we hope that it will continue to engage users and encourage them to explore the human connection to water. As for Powering a Nation, we're all looking forward to seeing what next year's group of fellows will produce.

Last question: whose unlucky cat got dunked?
Dante, the unlucky cat, actually belongs to Cath Spangler, a former Powering a Nation fellow. While the videographers were in New York, they were able to meet up with her, where she's working as a multimedia producer for The New York Times. None of the shots in the video are staged — they were all collected as real moments in people's lives — so we were all surprised and excited when the videographers came back with footage of Dante's first bath.
In addition to 100 Gallons, you can also view previous Powering a Nation projects online. Much thanks to Stephanie and the Powering a Nation team for their incredible work!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Common Application is Now Available

Hard to believe it's already August, but indeed here we are on August 1 which means the Common Application is now live! If you're planning to apply through the Common Application, you can now create your account on their website and begin getting familiar with the application. Don't stress, though, because our first application deadline, October 15, is still two and a half months away. You have plenty of time.

If you apply through the Common Application, you'll also submit a UNC-Chapel Hill Supplement form. The supplement isn't available yet, but should be up within a couple weeks.

If you're planning to apply through CFNC, that application will be available by mid-September.

And whether you're applying this year or not, we hope you'll go ahead and create a MyCarolina page, which is a portal just for prospective students. Through MyCarolina, you'll get information about Carolina that's specific to your interests. You'll also be able to track the status of your application through MyCarolina and view your admission decision when it's ready. If you're already in our system because we met you at a college fair or you already created an account, you can log in here. You can also reset your password by clicking "Forgot/Reset your password."

Below are some of the most frequently-asked questions we get as students begin their applications, and you can also review the detailed directions for applying as a first-year or transfer applicant.

More questions? Just leave us a comment below.

Should I apply through the Common Application or through the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC)?
If you're applying as a first-year, you can choose whichever is more convenient for you. The questions and requirements are the same, so it does not matter to us which you choose. You’ll want to find out whether the other colleges you’re planning to apply to accept either of these applications, as that may help you decide which application to complete.

If you’re applying as a transfer, check out our Transfer page to find out which application you should use.

What are the deadlines?
View our deadlines here. Not sure which deadline to choose? Check out this post, where I wrote about the difference between our two deadlines.

How many essays will I need to submit?
You can see this year's essay prompts in this blog post

How do I submit my supplemental materials?
When you complete either the Common Application or the CFNC application online, the instructions will give you full details on how to submit your counselor statement, teacher recommendation, and transcript.

If you’re applying through the Common Application, you’ll indicate on the application which teacher(s) and counselor will submit materials on your behalf. You’ll enter their email contact information, and the Common App will send them instructions on how to submit the materials. They’ll submit the information directly to the Common App, so they’ll only have to upload it once no matter how many schools you apply to. You’ll want to touch base with your teacher and counselor to make sure they’ve gotten the email from the Common App, and they are all set to submit the materials.

 If you’re submitting a CFNC application, you’ll need to ask your teacher and counselor to submit these materials directly to us. Your teacher may submit the letter of recommendation by email (uncsubmit@admissions.unc.edu) or by mail. Your counselor may submit your Counselor Statement and official transcript through a secure electronic delivery service (Docufide or Naviance), or through the mail. Talk to your counselor to find out which method he/she prefers.

No matter which application you use, you'll need to have your official SAT or ACT scores sent to us directly from the testing service. We accept scores taken through November for Early Action and through December for Regular Decision. 

How many letters of recommendation should I send?
We only require one letter for first-year applicants and generally find one letter to be sufficient. However, if you’d like to submit additional letters, you’re welcome to do so.

Can I submit additional materials (resume, etc?)
You’re welcome to submit additional materials by sending them directly to us by email (uncsubmit@admissions.unc.edu) or by mail. Keep in mind these materials can’t be returned and we can’t view any multimedia materials submitted by mail (CDs, DVDs, bulky portfolios, etc). If you’d like to share artwork or multimedia work, the best method is to display it online through a website, blog, or online portfolio. You can then include the URL in your application.

Whenever you submit materials to us by mail or email, it’s very helpful if you include your full name and date of birth, so we can easily match it to your application.