Rochester admissions dean: Don’t worry about the ‘right’ answer

“Some candidates worry so much about the ‘right answer’ to an interview question or an essay question when, in reality, telling us something because you think it will be viewed favorably is often identified as disingenuous,” says the assistant dean of admissions at the University of Rochester, Rebekah Lewin. This week, the Simon Business School dean discusses the most and least impressive candidates, how Covid-impacted applicants will be evaluated, and the surprising responsibilities of Rebekah’s role as admissions dean.

What was your path to becoming the assistant dean of admissions at University of Rochester’s Simon Business School?

I kind of “fell into” admissions through a work-study role in undergrad admissions while I was in college.  I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet prospective students and tell them about my experiences in college during the recruiting process.  I initially thought my work in admissions might be a launching point for graduate study (I did my MBA at Simon).  Along the way, there have been many opportunities for advancement in both the scope and level of responsibility.  I am committed to the school, believe in what we provide to our students, and enjoy watching the transformation that occurs during and after grad school.

What’s something most people don’t know about your job as an admissions dean?

Although I am involved in some of the review of candidate applications, most of my time is spent working on longer-term strategies and plans for the school.  I rely on an amazing and talented team of individuals who work closely with our candidates during the application process.

That’s great to know. I’m sure you’ve still read thousands of applications. Can you tell me about one that you still remember?

The applications that stand out most to me are ones where a candidate has shown resilience in the midst of difficult circumstances.  It makes me want to root for the candidate and see them succeed in graduate school as I know it will open even more doors to their future.

What about a candidate that you read about and quickly knew they wouldn’t be accepted?

Hi there.

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