She receives the annual nominations from National Committees from all over the world and, once nominated, students are approved by the Admissions Team at the College. It falls to Leonie to be the bearer of good news, writing letters – or these days, emails – to the accepted candidates confirming that they have been given a place. Receiving their excited emails in return, it’s not hard to understand why Leonie says, “I think I might have the best job at the College!” It sometimes happens, when Leonie bumps into RCN alumni, that they tell her that receiving the confirmation notification is still clear in their memories, a life-changing moment. After sending out the news of their acceptance, Leonie will follow-up by sending out information, helping students and their parents with practical questions, guiding those who need help through the visa application bureaucracy and, with the rest of the Admissions Team, physically getting them to the College.
She still loves her job, describing how fascinating and humbling it is to hear from young people on the verge of a major change in their lives. Some come from not so far away, and some come not really knowing where Norway is on the map. Some come from big cities and others from refugee camps, conflict zones and remote villages.
A few years ago Leonie’s house in Flekke burned down. As it was a wooden house, the fire raged through it quickly. Within a couple of hours everything she and her family owned was reduced to ashes. For anyone this would have been a traumatic experience, but Leonie says she was helped by remembering the difficult lives of students whose lives were transformed by that letter of acceptance. Reflecting on this strengthened the realization that most things are more important than possessions.
Wishing you many more years as Admissions Coordinator, Leonie.
Thank you from all colleagues and students – present and past.