10 Questions with Vivien Mallick

As the former Admissions Director at Andover for 22 years from 1999 to 2021, Vivien Mallick returned to campus this past weekend in celebration of her birthday. While at Andover, Mallick was the face of the Instagram account @AndoverAdmissions. This school year, Mallick took a new job as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at The Bishop’s School in Lajolla, California. Mallick described the changes she experienced between Andover and The Bishop’s School, as well as some fun facts about her.

What’s your job at your new school? Is it different than what you did at Andover?
I’m the director of Admissions and Financial Aid in Lajolla, California. I was the Director of Admissions Operations here. I was one of many people who worked in the admissions office and now I’m the director of an office of four, so the scale is a little bit different.

Do you feel at home yet, in your new school?
Yes and no; I feel welcomed, but I was at Andover for 22 years so this is very much home to me. I actually posted on social media that I was ‘coming home’ this weekend, so [The Bishop’s School] doesn’t really quite feel like home, but it’s not like it’s bad.

What do you miss the most about Andover?
Oh, God, there’s a lot of things. I miss all my friends in the community, all the faculty and staff who I’m friends with. I miss my advisees who are all in the Class of 2022, I miss the community in general. And I miss all the pretty colors on campus, and I’m glad to be here this weekend where I can see all the pretty leaves.

How is it different working at a day school versus working at a boarding school?
It’s different because when I go home at night I’m home with just my family, not my whole dorm. I do miss [Bancroft Hall.] I love the girls in Bancroft, but it’s just like a different way of life.

How is it different working at a six through twelve school?
Oh, the middle school is so cute. They’re adorable children. They’re fun, but very different, obviously much younger. Interviewing fifth graders is also much different than interviewing eighth graders. I’ve had to adjust a little bit to interviewing fifth graders.

How is California different from Andover? Which do you prefer weather wise?
It’s hard to complain, you can’t really complain about 70 and sunny all the time, like literally in San Diego it’s sunny and 70 every day. But I do miss all the fall colors. I don’t miss the cold, but I miss all the fall colors.

Which Commons food do you miss the most?
Paresky Commons is where it’s at. My new school has very delicious food, but it’s not Paresky Commons. Pernil y plátanos, that’s my favorite thing [at Paresky.] I cannot get enough of that when they make it.

What is the plan for your birthday here at Andover?
I’ve already spent time catching up with people that I’ve seen. I’m going to go cheer on my good friend’s soccer game right now. I’m going to go have dinner with the Hoenigs and the Shows. We’re having a birthday dinner tonight, so just hanging out with people and spending time. I visited the admissions office this morning to see all my old coworkers. And the new building, I don’t know if you’ve been in it but they renovated it since I left, so it was nice to see the newly renovated building. It’s beautiful.

What’s something at The Bishops school, or in California, that you haven’t quite adjusted to?
I don’t know how to surf, and there’s a big surfing culture in Lajolla and San Diego. I’m kind of afraid of surfing actually because I’m not a huge “let’s be in the ocean on a piece of wood” person, and so I’m trying to learn about surf culture… It’s very frightening, that’s not my jam. I do want to learn how to golf, though, and there’s a lot of golf in San Diego. I feel like that’s a safer outlet.

Would you ever do an Andover Admissions takeover sometime in the future?
If the Admissions office wanted me to do that, I would do it, but that seems weird to me, promoting a different school on the Andover Admissions account!… I don’t run that account anymore, as you know, but if they wanted me to, that would be funny.