Time Out for Tech welcomes students

September 23, 2009

by Ben Corda

Twice a year, high school students participate in a university recruitment program called Time Out for Tech.

Emily Pullin, admissions recruiter and special programs coordinator, was excited about Saturday’s the first Time Out for Tech, the first this school year.

“We [had] 214 students registered for the event as of [Sept. 19], and we [expected] 20-30 walk-ins,” Pullin said.

A buzz filled the room as students gathered in Howard Auditorium to be welcomed on their first stop of the day.

Whitney Gallup and Chelsey Campbell, seniors at Franklin Parish High School, were already excited about coming to Tech.
“We’re planning on coming here next year,” Gallup said.

Seth Ragusa, a senior at Ponchatoula High School, was more reserved.

“I’m just weighing every option, seeing what they have to offer,” Ragusa said. “I’m just trying to find a good school for engineering.”

Some students like Campbell have already decided on a specific major at Tech.

“[Tech’s] got one of the best pre-vet schools in the state,” Campbell said.

The prospective students were not the only ones excited about Tech that day. Hannah Marion, a member of student recruiters and a senior speech communication major, was enthusiastic about talking to prospective students.

“We take [the students] on a tour and get them really pumped up about Tech,” Marion said.

Matthew Brontoli, vice president of the student recruiters and a senior human resources management major, said the event gives prospective students a taste of what college life will be like.

“It is proven that if we get a student on campus they are more likely to come to Tech,” Brontoli said. “TOFT is unique in that the prospective student is on campus with over 100 of his or her peers and gets to interact with students that they will be going to college with.”

He also said the experience was unique and personal to each participant.

“This is something they do not get to experience in a private tour,” Brontoli said. “This is my third year as a student recruiter and there have been so many students that I have seen at TOFT or given a private tour too that I will see on campus. That is our ultimate goal and it is truly the best feeling to me.”

Likewise, Pullin said the student recruiters’ role in the event is vital to its success.

“This day would not be a success without their help,” she said.
“Not only do they direct families where to go throughout the day, the prospective students really enjoy hearing a college student’s experiences and why they love their university.”

Brontoli said he believes every single student recruiter is important to Time Out for Tech.

“There is no way we could get anywhere close to as much work done as we do if it wasn’t for every single student recruiter,” Brontoli said. “They are the driving force of the organization and work very hard at every TOFT and every tour they do.”

Rachel Boogaerts, president of student recruiters and a senior nutrition and dietetics major, offered advice how to have the best experience at Tech.

“Live on campus!” Boogaerts said.
“You can’t get the full college experience if you don’t. Get involved and meet people. Stay out of your comfort zone.”