What we’re up to these days (and a quick tour of the office)

By Tom

These days, most everybody in our office is spending their time with applications. Whether taking phone calls to answer questions about applicants’ status, processing all of the mail, or reading the applications themselves, it really is an office-wide effort! Even though the bulk of reading will occur after New Year’s, there is plenty to do now, with the Richmond Scholars deadline fast approaching.

We thought this would be a great opportunity to introduce you to some of the wonderful people in our office! So earlier today Maria and I took a break from reading, grabbed a camera, and went in search of our colleagues to see what they were up to.

Our first stop was all the way up on the third floor, known by its three residents (Mickie, Garrick, and Sabena) as “The Penthouse.” Here we found Garrick, hard at work reading files from the Southwest (his territory).


Coming down to the second floor, we stopped by to see Dolores, who paused to smile before returning to the stack of applications on her desk, from students all over Virginia.


Back on the main floor, we headed to Operations. Operations is the heart of the office during reading season – it’s where applications are received, keyed, filed, and organized. Anything you send to us goes to Operations before becoming part of a file for eventual reading. They have a lot of work on their hands this time of year!


This is Lori, who is usually the first person in our office to see an application – if you submit your application online, it comes to her. Here, after printing out a number of applications we’ve received, she’s putting together a file for each of them.


These are the stickers used to label each file for quick reference. Imagine the first two letters of your last name in these colors – that’s what the tab on your application folder looks like!

Tom pulling files

And here are the applications at home in the filing system. It’s a pretty cool machine (or at least I think so) – it automatically rotates to whichever set of drawers you need, which is clutch when there are upwards of 6000 applications to handle. That’s me in the picture, pulling a few files to take back to my office and read.


Even after an application is filed, plenty of materials continue to pour in – transcripts, letters, resumes, and more. Our staff does a meticulous job of making sure everything is filed away with the proper applications. Here is Terri, one of our Operations staff, processing mail. The bin at her feet is filled with all of the recommendations we have received… today. This is one reason we ask you to limit yourself to a maximum of three recommendations! So next time you’re thinking about whether or not to send us that third or fourth recommendation, think of Terri. And be merciful.

Counselor Row

Next, we went over to “Counselor Row,” so named because of all the offices you see located down the right-hand side. Pictured are Karen and Sandy, two of our wonderful support staff, who might just answer the phone when you call us!

Ruth Marie, whom some of you from the South may have met during travel season, uses sticky notes to let us know what’s up… we decided not to disturb her.


Here I am in Maria’s office, also on Counselor Row, where she settled back into work. Maria says “Happy Holidays to everybody!”


Lee (my next-door neighbor in the office) has come up with a creative way to read more comfortably, using a lap desk when she’s reviewing applications. Note the calculator, which is an invaluable aid during reading, when we’re looking at course levels, GPAs, test scores, and so many other numbers!

And that’s a quick tour of our office. Hopefully that puts a bit more of a face on what we do here in Admissions! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I really do have to get back to reading applications…

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