20 Questions for an Admissions Counselor: Taylor Shrapnell

By Elizabeth Schmuhl June 5, 2018

Say hello to Taylor Shrapnell, an admissions counselor for Kent County, MI and the state of Indiana. She is also a recent graduate from the University of Michigan and completed her undergraduate degree in psychology in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, as well as her Master's in psychology.

1. What do you like most about your job?
I think it is most rewarding when I am able to help students overcome any stress or anxiety they may have about the college search process. It can be an overwhelming time for some students, but I like to reassure them that this experience should be fun and exciting! Even if there are times when it may not always feel that way, I am able to be a resource to help them overcome any challenges they encounter along the way. Helping students ultimately find their home for the next four years is a great feeling.

2. What is your go-to travel snack when you’re on the road recruiting?
Skinny Pop! I think I go through a minimum of 30 snack sized bags throughout the travel season in the fall.

3. What is your favorite thing about the University of Michigan?
I am always blown away by the limitless opportunities available. I am originally from a very small town, and coming to Ann Arbor was intimidating but opened so many doors for me both academically and socially. During my time at Michigan, if there was something I wanted to do, I did it! The best part is these experiences will be different for every single student because there is just so much to offer.

4. What is a common question you are asked by prospective students?
How cold are Michigan winters? My answer is always: not that bad! As I travel to other states, I find there is a misconception that Michigan is a snowy tundra in the winter time. I always reassure future students they'll honestly be fine with a warm jacket, gloves, and a hat.

5. What is your favorite building or spot on U-M’s campus?
In my opinion, the Law Quad is absolutely the most beautiful spot on campus. It is so quiet, stunning, and a favorite study spot for many. I may be a little biased since this is also where my fiance proposed to me, but it's amazing.

6. What is something you wish you knew before your freshman year?
I wish someone would have told me it's okay not to have chosen my major in my first year. I was an undecided student during until my sophomore year and I was so worried that I was behind and wouldn't find something I was passionate about to study. However, I now know that "undecided" is actually our most common incoming freshmen major, and you have PLENTY of time to explore different opportunities before this decision needs to be made.

7. What movie would you recommend that you've seen recently and why?
I recently just watched Gifted, which is a movie about a young girl with extraordinary mathematic abilities. Her story incorporates managing relationships with family while finding the best path for her education, and Mckenna Grace did such a great job. Octavia Spencer is also one of my favorite actresses.

8. Who is your favorite teacher?
My favorite teacher in college was for a creative writing course. He had recently been working as an engineer in California before deciding to change his career path. He moved to Michigan to pursue an MFA, and started teaching poetry to undergraduates. His passion for his newfound interest really translated into the classroom.

9. What is the most memorable class you took in college?
I enjoyed my Greek mythology course. It wasn't something that was required for my major, but it was something I found interesting that still contributed toward my liberal arts degree requirements.

10. Do you still keep in touch with any of your college roommates?
I do! I had positive experiences with all of my roommates throughout college. Two of them in particular were my roommates for both junior and senior year. We recently just had our own little reunion to catch up, and I anticipate us staying in touch for a long time.

11. What would you do on a perfect Saturday in Ann Arbor?
Go to the Big House! Football game days in Ann Arbor are a lot of fun. I wouldn't have qualified myself as a big football fan before coming to college, but the energy and campus pride got me hooked. Now, I wouldn't miss a game.

12. What is your favorite thing to do in Ann Arbor that doesn’t cost money?
I enjoy going for a walk in our Nicholas Arboretum. It has many different trails for hiking, and a beautiful river runs through it where you will see people kayaking in warm months.

13. What is your most treasured possession?
My puppy, Barry. He is an 8 month old Golden Retriever, and absolutely adorable.

14. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I would like to be able to talk to animals. I took an animal behavior class as an undergraduate, and I was particularly interested in animal emotions.

15. Coffee or Tea?
Both! I drink coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.

16. What is your favorite U-M tradition?
During orientation, incoming freshmen students walk through a fountain on campus toward the Michigan Diag to signify joining the Michigan community. Four years later, after graduation, students walk through the fountain again but this time, toward the graduate school to signify joining our Alumni network.

17. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Completing my Master's degree was a big moment for me. I attended an accelerated 1-year program at the University of Michigan with a strong emphasis on research and earned my Master's of Psychology. During this time, I had the opportunity to teach as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) furthering my passion in working with students.

18. What is your favorite season?
Autumn is my favorite. It's the perfect time for hiking, I love the colors of the trees, and having a bonfire is always something I enjoy.

19. If you had a time machine, would you go back in time or into the future?
Trick question: neither. Time travel is tricky business. Have you not seen (insert any time travel movie ever here)!?

20. What is your most-used emoji?

Elizabeth Schmuhl