My First Internship at Swarthmore

This summer of 2023 was the summer after my freshman year at Swarthmore College! I had the pleasure to undertake my first internship in the Admissions Office here, so I thought I would share a bit about my Swattie internship experience so far!

I initially applied for the “Tour Guide” position on Swarthmore’s campus jobs portal, JobX, as I had some prior experience in tour guiding from high school and summer camp counseling. I always enjoyed giving tours then, so I thought I would try it out again in college!

What I quickly learned is that being an admissions intern here at Swarthmore entails more than just helping out in the office; us interns lead campus visit tours for prospective students and interested family or community members! Before these tours, there is an information session meant to give you a first look at what makes Swarthmore so unique and important for its students and that delves into admissions and financial aid information that the admissions officers here know much about. As admissions interns, we co-present in these sessions to help answer questions and share our own perspectives and experiences on academics and social life at Swarthmore while the admissions experts lead the session! The information session and tour take about one hour each, so a two-hour time commitment can already help you learn so much more about what the college and the campus have to offer!

Another part of our job in this internship is to work on a research project and write blog posts such as this one I am writing right now! The blogs we write can be on any topic pertaining to Swarthmore, whether it be our experience with a certain major or club, or hobbies and interests we have taken on in our time in college! If you see any recent blog posts about biology, or about our campus as an arboretum, they are likely to be mine! 🙂

The research project I undertook looked at dorms across colleges in the nation but especially at our 18 dorms right here at Swarthmore! I sent out a survey to our entire student body asking about the experiences of individuals in their dorms during their time as Swatties so far, mostly filled with multiple choice questions ranking experiences from 1 to 10. After getting about 300 responses, I organized the data with the help of another admissions intern, Iver (who studies computer science and economics and knows much more about Google Sheets than I do), into a big spreadsheet that we then used to produce some dot charts. These were placed by me into a slideshow that I used to present my results to not only the admissions office, but also our Housing and Public Safety teams! I talked about expectations I had of the results before I received them, what surprised me, and what lined up with those expectations after all the data was averaged! This conversation and project as a whole were really useful to look at any possible changes or improvements that can be made to give current and future students an even better living experience!

My internship experience was also very social! I met lots of awesome people not only in the group of interns I led tours with, but also in the admissions staff who I helped out during info sessions and with all sorts of other projects happening throughout the summer, especially as they were busy reading applications! I often had lunch with my fellow interns and learned much from them as Swarthmore students who have been here for a year or two longer than I have! I also loved talking to and answering questions for prospective students and families on my tours, meeting people from all over the world (one time I had families both from Hawaii and Alaska on the same tour) going through similar processes to what I did in my college search! This summer experience has been really impactful, taught me a bounty of knowledge about the admissions process in higher education, Swarthmore College’s history, and the world as a whole and thus it holds many memories I will never forget!