Again this year, SAIT has welcomed prospective students at its annual Open House.
The open house, which kicked off Oct. 28 in the Irene Lewis Atrium of the Stan Grad Centre, is the largest public event that SAIT holds most years.
But this year’s edition was dwarfed by the institute’s 100th birthday party, which drew thousands to the campus on Oct. 16.
Mo Keshavjee, the marketing and communications co-ordinator with SAIT’s School of Information and Communications Technology, said the open house is about more than just learning about what classes a prospective student can take.
“We want the students to touch and feel each program,” said Keshavjee.
“We get students to feel the technology and the tools that they’ll end up using, and we take them on tours of the labs that they’ll be in.”
The open house is designed to help potential students to figure out what they want to do and to show them how to begin a career doing what they enjoy.
Keshavjee said this is all part of SAIT’s commitment to practical learning.
If a SAIT student graduates on a Friday, they should be able to start work the following Monday with no additional training.
It is also meant to give students a feel for SAIT’s sense of community.
Alyssa Hart, who is currently still in high school, came to the open house with her mother Sharon Hart to find a career that is right for her.
“I don’t think that any of these people would be here if they knew what they wanted to do,” said Alyssa Hart, gesturing to the crowded atrium of the Stan Grad Centre.
Alyssa Hart said that she had been considering going into a business diploma program before coming to the open house, because that seemed like a good way to get a job.
The open house was an eye-opener for Alyssa Hart, though.
“There’s a lot of stuff here that I can see myself enjoying, and it’s encouraging to hear that there’s money in it,” she said.
Sharon Hart, a SAIT alumna herself, said she’s glad her daughter agreed to come to the open house.
“Kids grow up being told that they can be anything, but never get a chance to really get any experience,” said Sharon Hart.
The problem, Sharon Hart said, is that students are overwhelmed with options and are told that they have to choose right away, without any information.
She said that schools today only teach students how to learn, but they do not help students find direction in life.
“It’s no wonder this place is so busy,” said Sharon Hart.