In December 2009, I was hired for a temporary contract admissions position. Near the end of the contract period, a permanent position opened and I applied for it. This is the cover letter I submitted for that permanent position. Names have been changed for confidentiality.


August 15, 2011

To Ms. Johnson, Director of Administration & Finance:

Over a year ago, I answered a call to the Admissions Office from a woman named Mary Smith. She had questions about requesting transcripts from a former college. I gave her the answers she needed and we said goodbye. After that quick conversation, I became her main contact at KCAD. Whenever she had a question, she would call me. “Can I e-mail my statement of purpose and observation exercise?” I said yes and gave her my e-mail address. A few minutes later, I read through Mary's statement of purpose and came across a section about “Design Star,” her favorite show on HGTV. I laughed to myself, not knowing many people who watched the show like me. The next time she called, I told her how I appreciated her “Design Star” reference and we chatted about the show, HGTV and interior design in general.

After postponing her enrollment, Mary completed her missing requirements and was accepted. The frequency of her calls decreased and one day she said, “You’ve been so helpful and nice to talk to. I can’t wait to meet you some day.”

A few weeks ago, the receptionist called me from the front desk. “Do you have a minute? Mary Smith is here.” I finally met Mary in person. It was nice to put a face with the name. We caught up, as she had told me months ago she was hoping to move and I had told her about an upcoming trip to Chicago. I gave her a tour of the 5th floor. I pointed out examples from Design Drawing, explained the differences between interior perspectives and elevations, and showed off the materials room. Before she left, Mary told me how excited she was to start classes in the fall.

Although my degree is in Illustration, I learned about design during school and I continue to learn more through personal interaction and professional development. A trip this past June to NeoCon opened my eyes to endless possibilities related to interior, graphic, furniture and industrial design, which I’m able to share with prospective (and current) students. I’m now knowledgeable and comfortable talking about design majors. When reviewing any portfolio, it’s important to have a strong artistic vocabulary so applicants trust and respect me. When a graphic design applicant’s typography skills are lacking, I’ll ask, “Did you ever learn about leading and kerning?” or “Is there a reason why you used Zapfino in every one of your projects?” Lingo like that has led to one of the biggest compliments I’ve received from a prospective student: “So, which classes do you teach?”

I want to continue working as a KCAD Admissions Counselor, but in a permanent position, so I can have more experiences like those detailed above.


Mike Hetu