Office Communication Top Ten List: Entry #1

We do our best to keep up with the volume of inquires and applications our office receives but the reality is that size of our staff and the number of inquiries/applications makes it hard to keep up.

In an effort to make sure we are able to assist you as quickly as possible, I want to take the opportunity to provide some information on how you can most effectively communicate with our office and obtain information.

Lists are pretty popular for communicating such information and this entry marks the beginning of a “Top 10” list for you to consider when communicating with our office, searching for information, and applying.  I will post 10 entries over the next couple of weeks and then compile them into a single entry for future reference.

In reviewing all of the entries please understand that I am not in any way trying to dissuade you from contacting our office, rather my hope is to provide information that will allow you to receive a response as soon as possible and avoid delays.  It is our pleasure to help and we look forward to hearing from you.

Number 1 – Use the same email address when communicating with our office and when applying.

This might sound obvious, but in my experience it is common for people to have at least three email addresses:  their personal email address, their work email address, and their alumni email address.

It is highly recommended that you pick one and use the same email address the entire time you communicate with our office and that this email match the email listed on your admission application.  This helps us to research your situation in the quickest and most comprehensive manner possible.

The first thing I do when I start to research an applicant’s inquiry or question is to plop the email address into my search bar.  If all of the emails are from the same account the process is greatly simplified and I am able to provide information in the most accurate and timely fashion possible.

Also, I cannot tell you how many times someone has emailed our office with a question and used a different address than the one on their application.  When looking someone up in our system  I do so by email address.  Thus if you email with a different address than the one you used when applying it takes much longer to pull up the appropriate application record.

From personal experience I recommend against using your business email address. The primary reason is that if you are admitted to SIPA you are going to leave your employer and your email account will be terminated.  Using your personal email address will avoid complications that can arise when you might request an email address change.  While it is possible to change emails in our system, it does require us to do it on behalf of the applicant and we have several software systems so it can take time and possibly lead to missed communications.

I do have two bonus tips.  First, please include your email address in the body of your email – for example below your name (an email signature with your email included is highly recommended).  Sometimes emails get forwarded to other parties and only the body gets sent along.  If I just get the body and the header is left off, we have no email address to respond to and this leads to delays while we try to track down email contact information.

From my experience this is a very common problem when people forward me emails from their Blackberry or mobile phone.  I cannot tell you the number of times a SIPA faculty or staff member has forwarded me a message and there is no visible email address.  So, just to make sure, I recommend setting up an email signature that includes your full email address.

Second, make sure to check your junk mail box every now and then.  Every once in  while someone will send me a message and it will inexplicably end up in my junk email.  I recommended that you add our email address to your “approved sender” list and check your junk mail every once in while to ensure our messages are not being sent to where you will not be able to view them in a timely fashion.