As I mentioned in my last entry, there are two new members of the Admissions Committee this year. Here is the first addition to last year’s series of staff profiles … allow me to introduce you to Mark Butt. (Yes, that’s his real last name … we tease him relentlessly.)
Name: Mark Butt
Territory: New Jersey, Delaware, and Canada
Education: University of Delaware; B.A. Elementary Teacher Education with a concentration in Science Instruction/Gifted Education. M.A. in Management of Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania.
Johns Hopkins Start Date: August 14, 2006
Years in Admissions: approximately 2 years
Why did you choose to enter the profession of College Admissions?: College admissions encompasses many of the aspects that I truly enjoy; including advocating for higher education, travel, analytical thought and interacting with people. It really is the perfect fit for me and I have a hard time imagining myself doing anything else right now.
Favorite Animal?: Not a Bushbaby … those things scare me. I think Alpaca’s are funny. Perhaps a dog?
Why did you choose to work for Johns Hopkins?: Johns Hopkins is the quintessential fusion of city-living, academic life and truly offers a unique undergraduate experience. I think speaking on behalf of Hopkins is a very humbling experience and I love to meet the unique students and families who are interested in coming to Hopkins.
What do you enjoy most about your job?: I think I like all the different parts for different reasons: I like travel because it’s like little adventures and you get to see students in the fall along with guidance counselors who are always interested in chatting. Traveling can be challenging but it’s also fun to see different parts of the country.
I like to read applications because I feel like every application I’m opening is like meeting a new person and it challenges me to think critically and carefully about each prospective student.
Finally, I like the people a lot here at Hopkins. Everyone here offers different perspectives on different issues and everyone has their own things that they do well.
How do you approach reading an application?: Reading applications is a lot like studying. You have to make sure you are comfortable and have a full stomach so that you aren’t thinking about anything else! I like to think of it as putting together the pieces of a puzzle and then seeing if that smaller puzzle piece fits with the larger piece that is JHU. Sometimes I have to ask questions to others on staff and they help me out with the tough decisions.
When not reading applications, what do you do for fun?: Well I love to go to the gym, eat Japanese food, and chat on the phone with my friends. I love documentary and foreign films as well! I don’t have much time for TV myself, but I can always find something on if I need to. I love to watch figure skating when it’s on TV but travel is by far my most favorite thing to do. I love to go to different places and try to travel as much as I can. Sometimes it’s to see friends and sometimes it is to see a new country. Being a global citizen is important to me so I like to learn about different places.
What are you Admissions pet peeves? (What drives you crazy?): I don’t like when Mom & Dad complete the application for the applicant. This is my BIGGEST pet peeve.
I don’t like when I see letters of support that have Johns Hopkins spelled incorrectly.
I don’t like grammatical or usage errors in an essay although I am quite forgiving in most cases. The kids are just 17!!!
Favorite College Essay?: It’s a bit hard to say what my favorite essay is. I like essays that are memorable; however, not all good essays are memorable and not all memorable essays, are good.
What three things would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?: Sunscreen (12L bottle); Water (120L bottle); Matches
If you want to learn even more about Mark, check him out on the Johns Hopkins Message Boards as Admissions_Mark; click here.