Yes, universities and colleges are extremely keen to meet students and parents alike.
And, they’ve got plenty to show off.
But, it can be quite a maze to work out where, when and what, so, with all of that in mind, I have put together a bunch of things that I think will help you get the most from university and college open days.
As always, I am happy to help if you need a hand.
Work it out – before you go!
Standing at the gates of the university and hoping you’ll find your way on the day is scary business. Going with a sense of direction, an idea of what you’re interested in is essential.
If you’re still in the NO IDEA camp, then this will get you started.
It’s my blog post written to help people answer that question, “What do you want to do when you leave school?”
Get the dates in your calendar
The calendar of events has just been published through Universities Admission Centre (UAC) in NSW.
Get your diary out and prioritise the open days you want to get to.
Don’t forget to include anyone you think is going to be helpful on the day i.e. parents, best buddies, people who have your back.
Here’s the link to all the dates in NSW: http://www.uac.edu.au/documents/undergraduate/opendays.pdf
And through these centres in other states:
Prepare to be dazzled
Open days are pretty flash affairs. There’s a lot going on; a lot to figure out.
So, jump online and look for the open day program. You can download it, book in for lectures and info sessions, find out who is hosting lunches (tip: residential colleges), and when specific tours are being held.
Tip: some unis have an app for the open day. Worth checking out.
Another big tip: start early! Get in as early as you can. It gets crazy busy.
Finding the Open Day guide on the uni website
I know, from lots and lots of experience that university websites can be daunting, confusing, downright frustrating.
So avoid the one-way url trails and google the answer.
Like this: UNI NAME open day 2016
One more prep step
Put in some thought before you get there: get a uni prospectus from your school Career Advisor, or online, and read up on the courses. From there, you can go to the Faculty web page and have a good look at the courses, find out what you’ll be studying.
Tip: have a look at the staff page, it’s likely you’ll meet some of those people at the day. Read their bio and be informed. It’s a personal touch. (and if you’re really savvy, and you meet one of the academics and mention that you were impressed by their work in XYZ, then go you!)
OK – you made it!
It’s open day. You’ve got your plan. You’re into lectures, taking tours, chatting with enthusiastic students, but you’ve got questions that need answers.
Find the Faculty or Department stand and get in line to ask. If you’ve done your homework, you’ll be coming up with some good questions.
One of the big ones for me is, “Where do your graduates go?” Are there jobs at the end of the degree? Listen out for the answer and then do your own research.
Another question, “What are the professional learning opportunities in the course?” or “Do I get to do work experience in this course and how does that work?” (of course you can work this out in other ways but it’s good to hear it from the horse’s mouth).
What does it take?
Don’t forget to talk about ways to get into the course. Unis have all sorts of pathways that may be easy to skim over so find from them. The Prospective Students team will be active and ready to advise you on how to, where to, and when.
Pros and Cons
Write up your pros and cons for the course and the uni. Match your answers against criteria such as, course and what you actually study. Course outcomes – will you get a job at the end of the course. Close to home? Course costs? Extra costs? Opportunities to do more during your study i.e. overseas exchange.
And all the things that are important to you and your family.
Get your cuppa, take a pen and paper (actually, just take a notebook, you’re bound to come home with a dozen pens). Write stuff down. Write down your impressions of the campus, the people you met. Can you imagine yourself there? Write down anything that really spoke to you – good or not so good!
Now back to study!
Use your open day visits as motivator to get through the rest of Year 12.
In a year from now … that will be you at uni. BUT, you need to finish well where you are now. Focus, do your best. Finish well.
Lots of people are on your team. At school, Career Advisor and teachers, your parents. Talk to them.
So that’s you ready to go for open day!
One more things to add, going from school to uni or college isn’t the only pathway you can take.
My next update will be on getting your career underway with apprenticeships, traineeships, and vocational pathways, so look out for that one.
Macquarie Uni Open Day
UTS Open Day
University of Notre Dame
Western Sydney University Open Day
UNSW Open Day
Australian Catholic University Open Days
North Sydney 3 September
Strathfield 10 September
Excited for Mondays was founded by Pamela Ledley, career counsellor and coach who has worked extensively with young people in high schools and with adults.
In addition to Bachelors level qualifications in Human Resource Development, and Counselling, she has also completed a Masters in Career Development. Pamela is a professional member of Career Development Association of Australia.
Excited for Mondays is for anyone who wants to discover what it is they are called to do in life and how to do that work.
Through focused conversations, sharing of resources, career exploration tools, and lots of individual support you’ll be on your way to meaning and purpose in life and work.
I can help you with your resume, job applications and interview preparation.
And yes, you will be excited for Mondays! Everyday.