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'This is so cool!' Open House welcomes 6,000+ guests to Concordia

Hundreds of volunteers help showcase the university's vibrant learning environment
October 31, 2016
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By Sarah Buck

Future fine arts students Sarah and Bree drove eight hours to attend Portfolio Day. | Photo by Andy Murdoch Future fine arts students Sarah and Bree drove eight hours to attend Portfolio Day. | Photo by Andy Murdoch


The supply of coffee, cotton candy, popcorn and BeaverTails kept pace with demand at Saturday’s Open House and Portfolio Day 2016, despite attendance figures that significantly outstripped past years.

More than 6,000 people braved the rainy weather on October 29 to learn about all that Concordia has to offer.

“By the morning of Open House, we had double the number of pre-registrants over last year,” says Savvy Papayiannis, manager of student recruitment. She adds that guests came early and stayed all day, and that many presentations were standing-room only.  

“We were offering a lot of valuable activities and information to prospective students — and they arrived with a plan of how they were going to spend their time.”

Though at least one visitor was surprised by the direction his Open House experience took.

Matthew Stiegemeyer, director of student recruitment, describes meeting a future student from Ottawa who came to Montreal with the intention of studying law.  

“But after visiting Concordia, she’s planning to choose our Design program. That’s the kind of impact that an on-campus visit can have in shaping a prospective student’s plans.”
 

Concordians wearing yellow welcomed prospective students. | Photos by Chauhan Deepak and Sarah Buck Concordians wearing yellow welcomed prospective students. | Photos by Chauhan Deepak and Sarah Buck


‘It’s a big first step’

Two Open House events targeted people with lingering questions about their educational path. “What can I do with my major?” was a chance to sit down with an advisor for some one-on-one guidance. It was a popular feature throughout the day, notes Stiegemeyer.

The presentation entitled, “My educational background is not ‘normal.’ What do I do?” was also packed.

Admissions information officer Patricia Paul says it’s common for people to experience anxiety about whether or not they’re going to be admitted to university — because there’s so much at stake.  

“It’s a big first step in the next chapter of their lives.”

She adds that it’s important to reach out to people whose history may be a bit more complicated. “It ultimately reassures them about how accessible a university education can be, given all the options available at Concordia.”

Another notable first at this year’s Open House was a live Facebook video from recruiter Ayanna Ryan, aimed at prospective students outside Canada.

“This is so cool!” wrote one commenter. “I live in Michigan and couldn’t make it there, but the live stream helps.” Now posted to the @CUFutureStudents page, the video has already reached more than 3,000 people.

The success of this year’s event is thanks to the hundreds of Concordians who turned out to help welcome future students, says Stiegemeyer. “Their efforts were key. They kept a very busy day going smoothly, while still managing to have meaningful conversations with individual students.”


Watch a video from the day from Open House 2016, or find out more about 
Concordia's programs and admissions requirements.

Attend Concordia's next Open House and Portfolio Day on Sunday, February 12, 2017.

 



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