I have been doing a hellish, hellish task.
The recruitment office here gets faculty members to call admitted students to try to sell them on the place and encourage them to come here. In a soft-sell kind of way. There was a fair amount of pressure to do this, so I signed on. Gawddddddd. It is the worst thing ever. If I'd wanted to be a telemarketer, I wouldn't have done a PhD. Every person on my list has been admitted here by default...it is nobody's first choice. It is fucking gross to be calling these kids and positively breathing desperation. The worst is when I leave messages with parents or on the answering machine so that parents might hear...because twelfth-graders might not know that this is desperation, but it must seem positively pathetic to parents.
And I just don't have the personality for this. Basically, I do what I'm told, i.e. call and say "Congratulations, Katie, on your admission to Scary City U. Do you have any questions for me?" Only one of the dozen students I've talked to so far has any questions at all. Which is incredibly awkward!! The info packet says that while that students might not have questions, they might enjoy hearing about research I or my departmental colleagues do. What????? Can you imagine? That is precisely telemarketing - foisting your self-interest on uninterested people in the pre-dinner hour!! And, on a more practical level, how do you seque into that??:
Me: I'm Prof. Hilaire from Faculty of X at Scary City U., and I'm calling to congratulate you on your admission and see if you have any questions.
Kid: No, I'm good/No, I'm hoping to get into Y/No, it's not my first choice.)
Me: Well, let me tell you all about ME!!!!!
So needless to say, because I won't do this, I am getting absolutely nowhere, and it's just a big fat bloody waste of time. Next year, no way. I just don't have the personality for this. Nor do I believe in the "brand" of Scary City U, which I think you need to do if you want to do this convincingly.