These are projects posted by the students of Dr. Gove Allen at Brigham Young University. These students have taken one semester-long course on VBA and generally have had no prior programming experience

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pick Me! The Application Selection Process Assistant, Jessica Irwin

For the past two years I have had the opportunity to work as an accountant and program manager in the Mathematics Department. I work closely with a yearlong program called the IMPACT Program, which trains students in high-level research in mathematics and statistics. As the National Science Foundation provides funding, each student receives a $10,000 scholarship to be a part of the program. The program is highly competitive and we receive over 30 well-qualified applications from students per year. However, we can accept only 10 students.

Over the past two years, I have spent many hours collecting and preparing the data received from applicants. Currently, I use a spreadsheet in GoogleDocs to store most of the data (some information is not stored there for security reasons), but I would like to present the data to the program directors in the most simplest and user-friendly way possible. I would also like to keep all application information in one secure place.

In order to assist in the selection process of our future year’s cohort, I was able to use the tools within Excel and Visual Basic to streamline the collection of large amounts of information from the applicants. Through Visual Basic, I was able to extract data from the application (a Word document) and write that data into a worksheet. This will allow the user to save a lot of time and energy by not manually inputting each applicant’s information. The data extracted from Word includes the applicant’s name, contact information, GPA, gender, and other relevant information we use in making our decisions. User forms were created to search, view, and edit the applicant information, allowing for easy changes to the data if needed. I was also able to do some analysis on the group of applicants—such as rank the students in order of highest to lowest overall and major GPA. In addition, I automated the creation of an interview schedule, as well as creating a user form for the email of acceptance and rejection letters. I feel that I was able create a program that could be adapted to other application and interview processes that occur in the Mathematics Department, and not only for the IMPACT Program.

Pick Me! The Application Selection Process Assistant


Sample Application (for use when importing new application into the program)

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