Sunday, October 25, 2009

Isn't Recruiting Only For Athletes?

Photo by: Luke McConnell
Jacobson Hall on the campus at the University of Oklahoma houses the university's recruitment services

You may think that only the athletes are the ones that get recruited for school.  However, when you look at the process and the attention that you get as a prospective student, it is basically a recruiting process and it starts with your first impressions on campus.

Every single university has some sort of a prospective students’ center.  These centers house many different resources that students can use on their college searches.  These resources include information about the school, scholarship information, admissions information and campus tours. 

“Members of the Recruitment Services team at OU assist students with their college search by providing information about admission, scholarship, housing and financial aid,” said Andy Roop, director of Prospective Student Services at the University of Oklahoma.  “We also assist by providing information about the university as a whole, individual colleges and departments as well as student life.”

Campus tours are one of the more important things that a prospective student can do to get a good feel for a school.  On a campus tour, you don’t only get to see the campus, but also get to hear about different amenities that the campus offers.

Photo by: Luke McConnell

Prospective students tour the campus at the University of Oklahoma 

Rachel Tyrell is a tour guide at the University of Oklahoma.

I feel like I play a major role in the recruitment process because most students do not know a lot about a campus until they actually come to do a tour, even if they have been here for football games,” Tyrell, a sophomore, said.  “On the tour we not only show the campus but highlight resources and different aspects of the learning experience that is appealing to prospective students.”

Tyrell said that she feels a bit of pressure as a tour guide but tries to just let the character of the campus shine through on its own.

“I feel a little bit of pressure to impress the students because it is their first impression; but, at the same time, the University of Oklahoma's campus speaks for itself,” Tyrell said.  “Our campus is gorgeous, and when going on a campus tour, OU has a sense of feeling at home.”

Tyrell said that it was important to go to a school that you enjoyed, but it is more important to go somewhere that will be of a benefit to you as a person, no matter what the campus looks like. 

“I would tell a prospective student to go where they feel comfortable, where they will be challenged academically, and where they will have phenomenal opportunities to grow their leadership skills, community service opportunities, and grow as a person,” Tyrell said.

Some students choose to take the risk of going to a school without ever seeing the campus and going based solely on academics and reputation.

“I didn’t have the time to get away and take a college visit,” said University of Oklahoma freshman Tryston Walsh.  “My family is a very busy family.”

Walsh said that although he didn’t visit OU before going there, things worked out well in a big way. 

“I was in awe,” Walsh said of the first time he stepped on campus.  “I was amazed by the architecture and how nice everything was.  I think it is a beautiful campus.”

Walsh said that even though things worked out for him, he would not advise not visiting a school before deciding to attend it.

“It’s not a smart decision because you need to see what you’ve applied to,” Walsh said.  “You need to know general information about your school before getting there.” 

Roop says that he always pushes students to take campus tours.

“My advice is always - visit campus,” Roop said.  “It is the best way for a prospective student to truly get a feel for the university they are thinking of attending.  We will do our very best to provide a great campus visit for prospective students.”

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