Emily Bahrt, my colleague and associate director of transfer admissions, recently traveled to transfer college fairs in the Seattle, WA area. I sat down with her to ask her about her trip. She had some great tips for what to do in Seattle, as well as some insight into transferring from the West Coast to the East Coast.
Jennifer: How many years have you traveled to Seattle for Drexel University?
Emily: This was my third year of traveling to Seattle. I go twice a year — in the fall and in the winter. I've been doing it for three years, so this is my seventh time going. Drexel has been doing it a lot longer, so we've been traveling there for almost 10 years.
It is great to speak with a student who is asking really thoughtful and engaging questions, and then seeing that student realize that Drexel could be a good fit for them.
Jennifer: What is your favorite part of attending a transfer college fair?
Emily: Obviously, talking to the students. I love when I get to have a great conversation with a student, especially when they have never heard of Drexel University — which happens a lot more in Seattle. It is great to speak with a student who is asking really thoughtful and engaging questions, and then seeing that student realize that Drexel could be a good fit for them.
Jennifer: Where do you love to visit in Seattle? Where would you recommend people stop by on their own trips to Seattle?
Emily: Pike Place Market — everybody recommends it because it's a big tourist place, but it really is the best place to visit. I go there almost every time I travel to Seattle. It's located right downtown so there are a lot of ways to get there. You will always find a different place to eat and there is always good people watching. And any visitor definitely needs to go get Pike Place chowder.
However, my favorite place to visit is the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum at the base of the Space Needle. The man who runs it is a Seattle area artist who does all blown glass. The second time I visited I went close to dusk, so I went out to the garden and looked at it in the light. Then I waited until it was dark because they have lights on everything at night. It was a completely different experience then. They have one huge glass room that has this strand of all different kinds of flowers that you can see the Space Needle through. It's probably one of the most moving museums I've been to, and I had a really intense reaction to it. I've gone back there two other times since then.
Jennifer: Why do you think students in Seattle consider attending Drexel University, which is across the country from them?
Emily: One, many of the students that attend these college fairs are not originally from Seattle, so they are more willing to move to another area. Two, because we are on the quarter system, and we are one of the few institutions on the East Coast that is on this schedule, Drexel is an easy transition for them since many of these schools are also on the quarter system. And three, I think our co-op program is a big draw. Many of these students now have friends who have gone to Drexel who have gone out on a co-op experience. I have so many students that come up to me in Seattle that say, "I'm talking to you because I've heard about your co-op program and it sounds really cool."
Jennifer: What is your favorite comment from a student at a fair?
Emily: Sometimes I get really funny reactions to our Dragon mascot. People will say they are coming to talk to me to ask why we have a dragon. The Mario the Dragon is a much bigger topic of conversation than I expected it to be.
Jennifer: What's the most common question you receive, and how do you answer?
Emily: Students typically will ask what the requirements for Drexel's admission process are. The students are really focused on GPA, which I think is because schools on the West Coast are very saturated with students, and it can be competitive for a student to try and transfer to those universities. When I go through our requirements and recommendations for their applications to Drexel University, I can see a weight has lifted for these students, since we may have different requirements for our programs.
Jennifer: Thank you, Emily!
Emily Bahrt works with our transfer applicants for our Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, and enjoys spending her free time at as many live concerts as possible.
Jennifer Brown is an Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Drexel University. In her free time, she watches movies, reads fiction, and writes nonsense.
Jennifer Eichorn Brown