Janeale Gottlieb-George was born and raised on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. She attended Villanova University in Pennsylvania and was a Communication major there. Now, Janeale is the Social Media Admissions Counselor at St. John’s and recruits in both Pennsylvania AND the US Virgin Islands. Her favorite things about NYC are live theatre performances and attending St. John’s basketball games at Madison Square Garden!
Spring is here!…I think.
March 22, 2013
Although the first official day of Spring was on March 20th, Mother Nature seems to be having a hard time letting go of the cold this year. Don’t get me wrong…the Queens campus is beautiful during the winter months…fresh, crisp snow on the Great Lawn, hot chocolate from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, and an endless parade of brightly patterned scarves wrapped around everyone as they sprint to and from class.
Easter Break is now right around the corner. It’s hard to believe that we’ve already made it almost 4 months into 2013 but I’m really really looking forward to the warmer weather. Spring is ALWAYS fun… students spend more time outdoors eating lunch, reading, playing impromptu pick-up games of soccer and tag football, and some professors even choose to hold a class or two outside on the Great Lawn. The Admissions Office will also be hosting many events on campus that gets the entire current student body involved like Accepted Student Day on April 14th and April 21st. Student Life will sponsor the annual Spring Festival and concert at the end of the semester and most importantly… the campus will become drowned in beautiful spring flowers of every shape, size, and color.
What’s not to look forward to!? The forecast is looking better and better each day. Soon enough we’ll be immersed in that oh so familiar sweet spring air…listening out for the sound of birds in the morning…and final exams. Then, and only then, will we all start begging for SUMMER.
New Year’s Resolutions
January 10, 2013
I don’t usually make New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, I make lists. Lists of things that need to get done in order for me to successfully achieve a long term goal…whether it be within this new year or not. If you are a high school junior then please consider the following list a New Year’s gift from me to you. It outlines some of the most important tasks you should be working on this last semester of your junior year, during the summer, and into the beginning of senior year. By the start of your senior year, you’ll be organized and ready to conquer the college application process with ease.
11 Ways to Jump Start the College Admissions Process Your Junior Year
1. Meet with your counselor. Discuss your career goals and the classes you should take. Many colleges require a high school career that shows a progression of courses. Make sure your high school coursework is laying the foundation colleges are looking for.
2. Choose your classes wisely. The choices you make on your junior curriculum are the most important. The difficulty of the courses you take matter. Instead of going for the easy “A,” choose classes that will challenge you. Colleges like to see students who have shown that they challenge themselves.
3. Keep your grades up. Your GPA is one of the first things college counselors look for when reading your application.
4. Explore your personal interests. Take classes in a variety of subjects that interest you. Join some clubs. Take part in different activities outside of your school. Now is your chance to find out what you like to do. Identifying your interests will help you choose a college major.
5. Make a calendar. Start by marking off important test dates and deadlines. Then write in action items and goals related to the college application process including essay deadlines you set for yourself, scholarship deadlines and campus visits.
6. Stay organized. Set up special folders for college-related materials and plan how you’ll keep them straight. Designate a place for reference material and one for correspondence. Start a notebook just for the admissions process. Write down all user names and college application passwords as well as thoughts about schools. Keep a log of correspondence, phone calls, meetings with college representatives and visits to each school. To contact the Admissions Office at St. John’s call 718-990-1802.
7. Plan your testing. Take the SAT and ACT. Taking the tests early will also give you time to improve your score, if need be. St. John’s accepts scores from both tests. Sometimes, you may even be able to earn more academic scholarship from higher scores on the ACT than the SAT. Having both on file can only help you.
8. Get to know teachers. Work really hard to impress a chosen few of your teachers. You want them to know you – and like you – well enough to write a personal and exceptional letters of recommendation for you.
9. Get Involved. Perform community service and/or get a part-time job. Extracurricular activities show that you’re well rounded and know how to manage your time efficiently.
10. Position yourself for leadership. Run for office in one of your clubs. If you have a volunteer job, explore options for taking charge of a project. Colleges like to see that you’ve moved up in an organization. It shows commitment.
11. Research, research, research. Gather college information and use it to narrow down your choices of colleges and universities. Seek out college entrance requirements, scholarships and financial aid options. Go on campus tours. Visit the websites of schools that interest you. If you are interested in booking a campus visit to St. John’s University please give us a call at 718-990-6238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fall Travel Season
October 23, 2012
With no exaggeration, I have probably met close to 1000 high school students during this fall travel season. I enjoy talking to students and their families. I really do. Each student is different and so are their interests in St. John’s University. I spend a lot of time going over academic programs, scholarships, and the application process. When students learn that I may be the person reading their application it is amusing to take note of their facial expressions. Many get very nervous and begin to stammer as if being interviewed… others automatically relax and seem to breathe a sigh of relief… surprised that I am not as scary as they had imagined. RELAX, I’m your admission counselor.
Any conversation I have with a student, whether they are in my recruitment territory or not, is valuable to me. I ask questions so that I can figure out what type of student you are and how I can best “counsel” you. As an admission counselor, that’s my job… to counsel. I never want students to envision me as a scary, intimidating University administrator but rather as someone they are comfortable coming to with questions, concerns, and more questions. The more I know, the better equipped I am to help.
Usually, my best conversations with a student begins with us finding something in common. A favorite color, song, or maybe something funny that we both witnessed are GREAT conversation starters. It puts me on their level and I can tell that they appreciate the comfort. All the admission counselors at St. John’s are friendly and willing to be as helpful to students as possible. You can find out who your STJ Admission Counselor is and where they will be traveling in your area at http://www.stjohns.edu/admission/undergraduate/meetcounselors. Reach out to them and have a conversation of your own! My students always know that they are welcome to contact me via phone or email and I love when they do.
Writing an Essay
October 23, 2012
Although St. John’s does not require that an essay be submitted with our application, it always looks good to have one on file. Knowing that we don’t make essays mandatory, many students still ask me about the criteria of a “good” college essay. “How long should it be?” “What should I write about?” “Should I be really serious or try to tell jokes?” I’ve found that most already have an idea of what they’d like to write about… and that’s great. For others, the pressure to find a topic can be overwhelming. Thinking back on my own college essay, I find it very easy to offer advice and clarity on the process.
College essays can be about anything… literally, anything. You can talk about your favorite movie, a life changing experience, or maybe the most influential person in your life… either way, the objective needs to be made clear… and fast. The objective of your essay is the action that you want the reader to take or the emotion you want them to feel. After I read your essay should I be laughing, crying, or left wondering about something? Telling a story is always a good option. Whether you are narrating a small moment of time or a year-long event, your essay should have an interesting, attention-grabbing beginning and a catchy ending. Most essays are around 500 words…definitely less than 2 pages, double spaced. Since you have limited words to use don’t beat around the bush or use a lot of flowery language. Get to the point!
Essay questions are usually offered to provide a sense of the student’s writing ability and level of creativity. Spell check, spell check, spell check!! Many schools, like St. John’s, weigh heavily on SAT/ACT scores and high school GPA but can use submitted essays to learn something new or significant about you. Keep in mind that lots of essays are read everyday. Be sure that yours helps you to stand about amongst the rest. :-)
Recruiting in the USVI
October 23, 2012
Although my main recruitment territory is the state of Pennsylvania, I am currently on my first recruitment trip to the US Virgin Islands! Adding this new recruitment region to my itinerary has been super exciting. It’s also really special to be visiting the territory since I am a native of the islands! So far, I’ve met some amazing students who really seem like they could be a good fit for St. John’s.
St. John’s University is currently the 4th most diverse university in the country. Mirroring our home in Queens (one of the most diverse cities in the United States), we welcome having a wide variety of cultures and traditions to represent our student body. There is so much to look forward to in hopes that there will be even more students arriving on our campuses from around the world in the near future. Students that are not only academically talented but diverse in their interests and extracurricular activities really stand out. Hopefully, as this trip continues to the end of the week, I will spark the fire of the St. John’s spirit in the hearts and minds of the juniors and seniors here in the US Virgin Islands. It definitely helps that the weather is already so warm! :-)
October 21, 2012
Our first Open House of the year was last weekend and I can’t believe how great the day was! We had over 800 students and their families visit the campus that day. It was the largest Open House turnout to-date! Seeing so many high school students come to campus for possibly the first time and learn about all we have to offer was really exciting.
Open House is always the best kick-off event for the application season. Luckily, we’ll be having 2 more Open House events next month: November 17th, Staten Island Campus and November 18th, Queens Campus. Its great that so many more students still have the chance to tour the campus, connect with current students, and ask questions to the Deans of the programs they are most interested in.
Visiting St. John’s is one of the most important things you can do to fully understand our sense of open community, academic achievement, and high-spirited fun.
See you guys in November!