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If you're thinking of applying to b-school this year, you have something right now that is more valuable than you can possibly imagine -- preparation time.  But we all lead busy lives -- what is the best use of that time?  What really matters, and how long will it take to do?

Article by Ben Feuer, Image by Moyan Brenn

We here at Forster-Thomas know that applying to any graduate program can feel completely overwhelming, with a hundred little things to take care of and not enough time to take care of it.  So what should you focus on and when?  Here's a cliff-notes answer to that important question.  Please note -- this is in no way intended to be a comprehensive list, but it should give you plenty to think about if you're trying to maximize your application's chances.

IF YOU HAVE ...

3 YEARS - Congratulations!  You're really into planning ahead.  Keep earning top grades at your school (or if that's too easy, transfer into a tougher school) and tackle meaningful leadership challenges in your clubs and organizations.  If you're early on in the workforce, start building the key professional contacts who can later serve as recommenders or write letters of reference for your target schools.

3 MONTHS - Depending on the relative strengths and weaknesses of your application, you could either focus on retaking your GMAT or taking your GRE (standardized test scores are important) or you could look to burnish your resume with meaningful leadership by founding a small business or taking on a big responsiblity for a nonprofit.

3 WEEKS -  Although this can be enough time to do a rushed GRE/GMAT retake, depending on when the tests are scheduled, perhaps the most important thing to think about with three weeks remaining is corralling your recommenders.  Hopefully they already know you're applying at this point, but it's a good time to put in a few gentle reminders, set up any necessary meetings to provide information or just catch up, et cetera.  

3 DAYS - Do a campus visit for the weekend!  Prepare by reaching out to students via Linkedin and asking pointed, thoughtful, comparative questions about their b-school experience thus far.  Invite them to talk about their favorite and least favorite aspects of what they do every day, and what parts of school they got the most out of.  Once you arrive on campus, take a lot of notes -- they'll help you when the time comes to write your "why school" essays -- and shake a lot of hands -- depending on the school, face-time with profs and admissions staff can help your chances of getting in quite a bit.

3 HOURS - Write a first draft of an essay.  Don't try to get it perfect your first time out of the box.  That isn't possible.  Just write something complete, authentic and honest with a clear plan in mind.  If you're going over three hours for your first draft, you're overthinking it!  Relax and wrap it up.  Then hand it to your brain trust (you do HAVE a brain trust, right?) and be prepared to be told it doesn't work at all.

30 MINUTES - Jot down five essay brainstorms for a particular prompt -- one-paragraph reminders of things you've done in the last three years or so.  You can also reformat your resume in 30 minutes, leaving plenty of negative space, compressing to one page, emphasizing recent employment and accomplishments, and purging things that aren't relevant for b-school like technical skills.

3 MINUTES - Take a deep breath and relax.  You've hit submit -- it's out of your hands now.  The best thing you can do is put it out of your mind and wait.

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An open letter to the students about to begin their first year of college in the fall, parents anxiously hovering over their shoulders, and anyone interested in claiming the crown of Westeros.

By Ben Feuer



Dear future scholars of the world;

Felicitations!  You've gathered up your admits and rejects, pored over the pile and decided where you will spend the next 4+ years of your life.  Along with your pencils and pens, you're likely to receive a boatload of 'helpful' advice about what the hot STEM majors are, which courses to take to maximize your earning potential, and how to navigate the sometimes hazardous world of first year course selection to maintain an A average.

Bully for all that.

But allow me to retort.  Instead of spending your next four years like Stannis Baratheon, hunched over a map and madly plotting away, spend them like Daenerys Targaryen spent her youth -- exploring and eventually conquering the free cities of the East.

I know, I know.  But think about it.  Stannis is a schemer -- he spends his days plotting away, eager to use any and all means at his disposal to get what he believes ought to be his.  Aside from making him pretty annoying to hang out with, this is a losing strategy long-term.  No one wants to side with the guy who's stuck in the past.  Daenerys, despite her tragic past, is firmly focused on the present.  Instead of making obvious power plays or cutting bad deals with black magicians, she roams the free cities and welcomes new challenges and experiences.

So how do we translate this diatribe from high fantasy to higher learning?  Here are a few ways to channel your inner dragon princess and approach college with an open mind and heart.

Avoid trendy courses.  I know, that "Twilight and 18th Century Philosophy" elective sounds totes dramatic, but you are wasting your parents' hard-earned money when you sign up for courses that teach you what you already know.  Instead, seek out your favorite professor's signature course, the one that he or she has been developing and shaping for years.  Explore his or her research topic.  Live inside someone else's brilliance for awhile - you'll be glad you did.  Seek out courses on subjects you know nothing about -- when you come into a class with a blank slate, you get a lot more out of it because your guard is down and your preconceptions aren't as limiting.

Build strong relationships with the right professors (and don't grade grub).  One of the most important things you do in college is learn how to build lasting relationships.  Although most of these are going to be with your peers, it doesn't hurt to have a few professors in your corner too.  It's important, however, to pick your allies wisely.  That hella popular prof that everybody loves is not going to remember you three years from now, whereas the charming, bookish, brilliant adjunct could be heading a department of his own in ten years.  Plus, a little bonus note on grade-grubbing; before giving a prof a hard time over your B+ (which I guarantee you earned), ask yourself this -- would I rather have a (likely useless) bickering session or a powerful positive recommendation and connections down the line?  Schemers brood over past wrongs.  Explorers bet on the future.

Don't be a dilettante -- but don't fixate, either.  Unless you're doing something incredibly rigorous like pre-med, don't be afraid to experiment with unusual classes.  This is particularly true for liberal arts schools and humanities majors -- you're not getting what the school has to offer if you don't play the field a little bit.  And by the way, this goes double for student organizations and clubs.  That said, you can go too far in this direction; always keep an eye on the requirements for your major and minor so that you aren't caught short in your final semester.  This is particularly true for students thinking about transferring at some point in their college careers -- get in touch with your school of choice to make sure your credits will carry over, and talk to your intended major to make sure they'll have you.

College can be a scary place (although Westeros is definitely more scary).  Nevertheless, when you make important educational decisions from a place of fear, bitterness or resentment, you're hurting yourself in the long run (and probably in the short run, too).  When it comes to your college plans, be a dreamer, not a schemer -- live big and fail big, because just like GoT, it's going to be over before you know it.



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To commemorate Businessweek’s 2014 ranking of the top undergraduate business programs, Forster Thomas is profiling the top ten. Remaining at #10 this year is UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler school.


Among the top ten schools, UNC Chapel Hill stands out for its low tuition, friendly community and attractive campus.

WHY TO GO:

• Lowest cost in the top ten for in-state students — $6,423
• UNC students most frequently go into financial services — Bank of America is their top recruiter.
• UNC students tend to be well-rounded, dividing their focus between classes and extracurriculars.
• Jason Kilar, the founder of Hulu, attended UNC.
• Average salary upon graduation: $58,537

HOW TO GO:

FRESHMEN

Freshmen cannot apply to Kenan-Flagler, but they can plan their career, research leadership and earn top grades, all of which will help them with their application.  These are the primary factors UNC considers —

    Academic excellence
    Depth of thought and intellectual curiosity
    Motivation and Drive
    Excellent communication skills
    Strong leadership potential and professional maturity
    Global awareness

Students who have completed their first year will be eligible to apply for Undergraduate Business admission beginning July 1 to start as soon as the following spring semester.

The admissions committee does not take an applicant’s residency into consideration.

Average GPA for admitted students is 3.5.  Acceptance rate is 58 percent.  Prerequisite courses include —

ENGL 105 or ENGL 105i

Calculus-based math at UNC*:
MATH 152 or 231 or 232 or STOR 112 or 113
*Exempt if credit for both MATH 231 and 232

ECON 101 Introduction to Economics

ECON 410 Microeconomics
 
STOR 155 Introduction to Statistics

BUSI 101 Management Accounting

Applicants are encouraged to seek pre-business advising from the General College Division of Social Science Advisors.

JUNIOR TRANSFERS

Admitted UNC transfer apply on the same timetable as freshmen — beginning July 1.

Students must spend at least one semester (fall) in the College of Arts and Sciences before they are eligible to start at the business school (students apply early in their first semester at UNC).  All students (transfer or not) must complete all business school prerequisites before they are eligible to start in the Undergraduate Business Program.

UNC will not admit junior transfer students with more than one remaining prerequisite on their fall UNC class schedule.  While not required, please know that summer school might be a good option for some students as many of our prerequisites are offered in the summer months.

Juniors must request to take up to two core business courses in the first fall semester. Applicants can do this here. While there is no guarantee that seats will be secured in two core classes, completing the survey the day it opens (at 8am the day before classes begin), provides the highest chance of securing one or two classes.

Transfer students should not come to the program with the expectation that they will be granted an additional (ninth) semester. We do, however, entertain requests for an additional (ninth) semester if requested in the eighth semester. 

SOPHOMORE TRANSFERS

Should submit a Transfer Equivalency Credit Review form for business courses as soon as you accept your offer to join UNC (you will be prompted to submit a course syllabi with this form).

ASSURED ADMISSION

UNC Kenan-Flagler developed the Assured Admission Program to be among the various offerings of the Excel @ Carolina Program. UNC Kenan-Flagler selects a small group of first-year students for assured admission to the undergraduate business major. These high-achieving students are identified through a comprehensive evaluation of their undergraduate application to the university. There is no supplemental application for the UNC Kenan-Flagler Undergraduate Assured Admission Program. Students are chosen on the basis of their merits, as demonstrated in their UNC Undergraduate Admissions application. 

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The latest NALP report on salaries for first year lawyers was released yesterday, and even though the basics haven't changed that much since last year, it does show some interesting trends.  Here are a few of the most important new developments this year.

 

• 160,000 is still going to be the ceiling for most law students.  There are exceptions, but 160,000 is a typical big-market salary, with 39 percent of law firms offering at least that much (up from 27 percent last year).

 

• Salary compression from 1st through 8th year associates has continued to grow.  The typical associate can expect to earn around $6500 more every year until the 8th year, where salaries top out.  Many observers consider this silly, since more experienced associates offer much more value to the client than first years.

Also, for those of you who know nothing whatsoever about legal salaries, here are some things that have always been true (and still are).

 

• Smaller firms pay less on average than big firms.  Although there are a lot of exceptions out there, small firms do typically pay a little less than big firms -- about $21,000 less.  That's not small change.

 

• It matters where you go to work.  Bigger markets, like New York and San Francisco, offer more money than smaller markets like Philadelphia and Detroit -- that said, the cost of living is also higher, so ultimately the financial difference is less than you might think.

 

More details are available in the NALP Bookstore, if you are curious about a particular region, for example.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Is it time to stem STEM?

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By Ben Feuer


Fareed Zakaria struck a blow on behalf of liberal arts education (and, to a lesser extent, the humanities more generally) in his op ed in the Washington Post.  Zakaria’s upcoming book explores in detail the ‘decline’ of liberal arts education in America and its corollary, the rise of STEM.

On one level, it’s hard to argue his basic point.  After all, he’s just calling for a better ‘balance’ between STEM and the humanities.  Who doesn’t want that?  The question that students (and those who work with them) need to be asking, however, is just how much of an imbalance does the system have currently, and in which direction exactly does it skew?  In other words, is America’s ‘obsession with STEM’ really what is holding the country’s educational system back?

One of Zakaria’s first arguments is that America, land of the “Steve Jobs” success story, can’t afford to pooh-pooh innovation.  But Jobs was a college dropout, a polymath and an autodidact, as was his contemporary Bill Gates – those men would have succeeded in pretty much any situation they found themselves in, because they had exceptional gifts.  The men who worked beneath Jobs and Gates – the men who designed and built the Apple II and coded MS-DOS – were predominantly STEM graduates.  America’s educational system does not exist for the exceptions, it exists for the masses, and its role is to educate them and prepare them for productive lives the workplace.  Jobs and Gates don’t need it – their thousands of employees do.

Zakaria clearly knows this on some level – he goes on to applaud the United States for offering an education to ‘everyone’ in the 19th century, unlike Europe.  But he conflates a ‘widely available’ education with a ‘well-rounded’ one.  19th century American education was many things, but it was not well rounded.  American schools were focused on basic skills, such as literacy and arithmetic and languages, because Americans wanted to climb the ladder in the hierarchy of nations.

Today, of course, entrepreneurship is in vogue, and from what he writes, Fareed seems to think that every American liberal arts graduate will either find a job in a startup or found one himself.  In fact, it seems likely that the startup bubble, with its limited job security and speculative risk-taking, is a free market attempt to make up for all the good jobs that were lost after big business broke the social contract it had with its employees.  The elites who used to be drawn to the top of GM are now founding Flixtr and Quazeeble.  Good for them, but again, this isn’t ABOUT them.  And by the way, good luck building any startup without engineers, one of the most in-demand professions in America and a classic STEM profession.

In the end, innovation is a sidebar.  Entrepreneurs are the exception, not the rule.  The rule is middle managers, small business owners, and tradesmen.  Our current system of education MAY produce more geniuses than China, but it also produces the largest prison population in the world because it fails to serve so many.  The only way to justify that trade-off is to argue, implicitly or explicitly, that those prisoners are the unavoidable cost of those geniuses.  If you believe that, you’re living in a utilitarian utopia where some vast invisible meritocracy is handing out laurels to the winners and handcuffs to the losers, and that, quite frankly, just ain’t where it’s at.  Expanding STEM and trade-school offerings, which Zakaria is against, just might cure what ails America.  It might not even harm innovation much – we haven’t gone nearly far enough to know.  What we do know is that the current system is failing too many students to simply perpetuate it.

Zakaria finishes up his article by critiquing Asian models of education at length, but they’re a straw man.  Most American education observers aren’t interested in emulating China (although frankly, a lot of that is myopic flag-waving on our part — we could learn a lot from the Chinese system, which is much older than our own and consistently produces superior bureaucrats and a highly socialized, technically competent workforce).  Most Americans are interested in systems like Germany’s.   Germany has a complex, multi-tiered system of education driven by the states, where students can test into a range of occupational training or attempt to proceed to colleges and higher-level academic institutions if they so choose.  This is a wise approach.  Students’ performance should determine their outcomes to a greater extent than it currently does in America, if only because it would curtail the influence of money, another major flaw with the ‘liberal arts’ mentality.

A liberal arts education is a beautiful thing and a valuable thing.  But not every student has ten years to cast around ‘finding herself’, and not every student is ready for the responsibility of ‘finding herself’ the day she turns 18.  Many students seek a transactional education experience – hard work in exchange for a decent, steady job that will allow them to live and raise a family.  America is failing those students right now, and putting 4-year liberal arts colleges on a nostalgic pedestal doesn’t serve our long-term interest as a country.


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Photo by English106, Article by Ben Feuer

 The new common application questions are out for 2015-2016 -- students and parents everywhere are wondering how to answer them.  This guide will help you get started!

The brand-new common application questions have been released into the wild!  First, a few ground rules.  Your word count should be between 250 and 650 words for each question.  Don't feel obligated to use every word -- but don't go over, either.  Double and triple-check your spelling and grammar -- don't get dinged on a technicality!  Read all of the topics and consider each of them before choosing which one you will answer.  Don't choose based on what story about yourself you feel like telling, or what you think the committee 'ought to know' about you -- instead, select a story where you grew, changed or evolved as a person.

And now, without further ado, the questions!

1.  Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

Read this prompt carefully.  This is a standard 'diversity' prompt -- which means it asks students to share some distinctive element of their background or upbringing -- BUT the wording is very strong.  Only choose this prompt if your background is so integral to your life that you really can't imagine writing about anything else.

Note that this prompt also invites you to tell a story that is central to your identity -- that could be (for instance) a narrative about personal growth, or about an unexpected friendship or chance encounter -- again, so long as it is central to who you now are as a person, it's fair game.

2.  The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

If you're applying to a reach school, or if you're concerned about other areas of your application, this prompt is your chance to stand out from the crowd and make an impression.  Nothing grabs admissions officers' attention as quickly as a well-thought-out failure essay, particularly because most students run screaming from this kind of prompt.

So what makes a great failure essay?  We cover this at length in our book, but the fundamentals are this -- you need a singular, powerful failure narrative where you failed not just yourself, but others you cared about.  The failure must be absolute -- no saving the day at the last minute.  It must point to some underlying aspect of your character which you then identify (stubbornness, overcaution, arrogance).  You finish up the failure essay by telling a brief (50-100 word) anecdote about how you have changed as a result of this failure -- use concrete examples here!

3.  Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

The flipside of the failure essay, the challenge (or as we call it, the leadership) essay is one of the most commonly seen essays on the common application.  If you have accomplished something that was exceptionally challenging for you and really shaped who you are as a person, this is your prompt.  If you are just looking to brag about your killer grade in that AP History class or your five goals in the championship bocce match, this is NOT your prompt.  Move along.

When thinking about challenges, students always want to focus on the external -- what happened and why it's impressive.  This is the wrong approach.  The important story to tell is how you GOT to the impressive result -- and what you thought about, did and said that led to that result.

Finally, remember that these types of stories work best and are most impressive when you're motivating other kids (or adults!) to excel -- contrary to what your lovin' mother told you, it ain't all about you.

4.  Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

This prompt is a somewhat unusual spin on a common theme of transformation and growth.  There is an obvious STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) spin to this question -- after all, a laboratory experiment or a planned course of study fits into this prompt very neatly.  But resist the urge to get completely technical and step outside your own experience!  Remember that whatever prompt you choose for your essay, the central figure in the story is you -- your challenges, your growth, your maturity.

This prompt also might be a good choice for students who have been fortunate enough to have interesting experiences in unusual places and contexts.  Worked on a social issue overseas?  Spent eight months living with the Amish?  Shadowed a researcher at CERN?  This could be your prompt.

5.  Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Rites of passage can be fascinating topics for essays -- if they're handled well.  No one wants to hear about how grandpa cried at your confirmation -- snoozefest!  Becoming an adult is about accepting the responsibilities, limitations and joys of being human, and so should your essay.

The focus on a particular event is important.  It's very easy when writing an essay to drift from one subject to another, but great essays have a singular focus -- they're about one thing and one thing only.  In this case, the event or accomplishment in question and why it was the turning point in your journey from boy to man or girl to woman.

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So there you have it!  Not so scary after all, huh?  Still, you probably have a lot of questions as yet unanswered.  Or maybe you have a draft all written up and you want some seasoned eyes to take a look?  If so, drop us a line -- we'd be happy to help!

 


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Below are the brand-new 2015-2016 Common Application essay topics!  For tips on how to handle these questions, check out our best practices blog.

Instructions. The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don't feel obligated to do so. (The application won't accept a response shorter than 250 words.)

1. Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

To get started, access the new Common Application.

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By Ben Feuer

Marc Longenecker '03, came to Wesleyan University intending to focus on physics, which had been his focus at Franklin high school in Somerset, NJ.  After taking “History of World Cinema to the 1960s” with then-faculty member Bob Smith, Marc fell in love with Wesleyan’s world-renowned undergraduate film studies program.

Several fortuitous accidents later, Marc has become an integral member of the faculty of Wesleyan’s film studies department.  As the Technical and Programming Director, Marc’s responsibilities at Wesleyan include overseeing the film series, maintaining and improving Wesleyan’s formidable arsenal of projection equipment, and teaching undergraduate classes on Frank Capra, Elia Kazan and the History of Television.

Ben Feuer at Forster-Thomas had the opportunity to sit down with Marc and quiz him about his role at the school, his philosophy of career success and the profile of a great Wesleyan film major (that’s what the department calls its students).

B: How did your college search go?

M:  I scored a 1560 out of 1600 on SAT, and I was valedictorian at my public school.  I applied to Yale, Tufts, William and Mary, Amherst, and Swarthmore, but Wesleyan was one of my top choices after I visited.  My school had a guidance counselor, but he was very little help — my parents hired a private counselor, which was tremendously helpful for me, because it let me know what options were out there for me.

B: And the film major?

M: I wasn't interested in film to begin with — although I may have heard about the film major before I applied, it was at best a contributing factor.  (B’s note: Wesleyan didn’t have the same reputation then that it does now, since alums Michael Bay, Joss Whedon and Alexander Payne have hit it big in Tinseltown.) I knew I wanted a liberal-arts school, but I didn’t want to give up sciences or humanities.  It was after I worked for the film series that I got really interested.

B: How did you wind up on Wesleyan’s film faculty?

M:  I became a graduate student and my role grew organically from there.  I’ve been at Wesleyan since I graduated.

B: What do you feel are the aspects of Wesleyan's film program that really stand out, pro and con?

M: Wesleyan as a school offers students the chance to test their limits and try new things in a relatively low-risk environment.  Rather than wasting time in grad school, or worse still on the job, doing things you don’t love, you can figure most of it out while you’re still in school. 

Despite its stature in the industry, Wes film is a small and interwoven department.  Everyone is involved with what everyone else is doing.  I think that’s something really special about us.

Wesleyan’s film program is a theory program, focused on Hollywood studio cinema.  We love foreign film, but for us, Hollywood is the creative apex.  A cinema that makes complicated things look simple.  Movies that are entertaining, but overwhelmingly sophisticated.  So you have to kind of love vintage studio films, or at least find them interesting.

Wes film focuses on where the technical meets the theoretical.  We’re very practical minded.  We try to extract meaning from the texts (the films) rather than imposing meaning upon them externally, like identity theory, for example.

B: There’s been a lot of talk lately that liberal arts education is dead.  What say you?

M:  I say nay!  Seriously, I wanted a liberal arts education, I got one, and I think it has real value.  The obsessively focused professional training program is great, but it’s reductive.  It can sometimes throw the baby out with the bathwater!  The liberal arts experience is the opposite — you’re up to your elbows in bathwater trying to find the baby.

Another great thing about liberal arts?  Double-majoring.  I mean sure, some double-majors are just lazy and noncommittal.  But the value comes if you can commit to BOTH majors.  I was a physics and film double major.  I worked in a lab AND ran a projector.  And you could say, oh, his physics training is wasted, he’s not using it in his job.  But I don’t feel like it was wasted at all.

B: Who is the ideal wes film student?

M: The ideal Wesleyan student figures out how to organize and combine things while caring about them very passionately. 

The ideal film major gets involved in things, is proactive.  We like our majors to try everything.  Serve on the film board, go to the series, commit to your classes, make films of your own.  It’s all there for you.  Take responsibility for your own education.  Understand that who you hang out with and what you choose to do and not do are part of that.  Don't be afraid of your own passions — pursue them, but not to the exclusion of everything else.

B: Have you noticed any trends in the types of students applying?

M: Yeah.  The increased availability of movies and the fact that Wes film’s profile keeps growing -- some students come in refusing to be taught.  They reject Hollywood and take a reductive, hip narrative -- popular cinema sucks, obscure, foreign films are what matters.  That’s obviously not going to work well with what we teach.

We have also seen some people who want to start making films before they understand the language.  Aggressively pre-professional students who are worried about wasting money, wasting time.  I sympathize, but by doing it that way they’re wasting everybody’s time.  Why be at school if you have nothing to learn?

B: What should potential applicants do to make themselves more competitive?

M: Don't overload on film work in high school, but don't come in completely blind either.  It's a liberal arts school, so you have to strike a balance.  That said, getting admitted to the film major is fairly straightforward most of the time once you’ve been admitted to the school.  There are basic requirements you need to achieve.  We do also offer a minor.

B: Any last words of wisdom?

M: Caring about movies is important.  That might sound obvious, but you have to care about the medium itself, not everything that surrounds it, if you want to succeed at Wes.  There's a difference between liking film and being unable to stop doing it.

B: I guess you’re more of the latter.

M: Apparently.

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