Friday, 14th June 2024

Friday, 14th June 2024

5 polytechnics, 5 ways to get more out of the open house weekend

15 Dec 2023

Five polytechnic open houses take place across three days in January. What if you want to attend a few of them? Singapore Polytechnic student Oh Jing Xuan has done her share of zipping through open houses before deciding on her course of study. Now a student volunteer, she offers tips on how to plan your time and pack more into the weekend. 

By Oh Jing Xuan

It’s official: Polytechnic open house season can be busy and loud.

As a student volunteer at open house for the past few years, I’ve witnessed countless prospective students stream through the gates, eager to discover the keys to their future, only to leave looking overwhelmed by the noise and buzz of activity. 

In the end, they may be walking away with insufficient information to make an informed choice. 

Here are my 5 insider tips on how to make full use of your time at the next open house:

1. Know what you want

Let’s face it. Many visitors arrive at these events without a clear plan and end up drifting with the crowd. This often leads to confusion and lost visitors unsure of what their purpose of coming is. 

Keep in mind, you have only three days to explore five polytechnics, each with its unique and enticing ways to win you over. There are also over 100 different courses to choose from.

You can start by asking yourself these questions:

a. What subject am I good at in school?

b. Can I envision myself working in this industry?

c.  Is this a career I see myself growing in?

With some answers in mind, you can sieve out courses that come closer to your preferences and passions. From there, you can cut through the noise and narrow your focus down to just two to three faculties per polytechnic.

2. Plan your time

Open houses are regularly scheduled during the initial week of January, starting from Thursday continuing until Saturday. 

From experience, many visitors arrive on Saturday afternoons for convenience. But I think it’s better to go on a weekday, when there are fewer visitors and higher chances for personalised attention (and when they haven’t run out of freebies… jump to point 4 if you like freebies!).

Even better if you show up on the first day when all the student volunteers are geared up to warmly welcome you to what is a highly anticipated event in the school year.

5 polytechnics, 5 ways to get more out of the open house weekend_2newAs open house volunteers, we are ready for all kinds of questions, seriously, even awkward ones like “Can this course make money or not?”

3. Ask the personal questions

Typically, student volunteers have a maximum of five minutes to engage with each visitor.

In this short time, you can expect a general overview of the course you’re enquiring about, which may feel somewhat underwhelming.

You might find yourself thinking:

“But I already know all that…”

“Where are the exciting details from your website?”

“I was hoping for some fresh insights!”

This is precisely why you should be proactive and ask all the questions on your mind. Student volunteers cannot always discern who is genuinely interested in the course and who’s just there to explore. So, we need you to ask more and “mhm” less.

Learning more about the course is about asking the personal questions to those who are currently enrolled in the programme, such as “What is your most memorable class?” or “How does this course prepare you for your future?” We have a wealth of stories to share, but whether we hit the mark with your question or miss the mark, depends on your willingness to engage more.

4. Get the freebies!

Out of all the tips, this is my best advice: GET THE FREEBIES! Don’t be shy. We, student volunteers, rarely have an opportunity to snag these goodies. Getting a new shirt or a water bottle is always fantastic, isn’t it? I managed to bring home some cool merch such as NP’s exclusive sling bag and SP’s specialisation trading cards. 

When visitors spring for the swag we design for our open house, we – and our school – get a huge morale boost too. 

5 polytechnics, 5 ways to get more out of the open house weekend_3newI (seated, second from right) was part of a team to create our specialisation’s course video for prospective students.

5. Which poly vibes with you?

Open house is always an exhilarating time for everyone. The polytechnic’s school spirit is at an all-time high among the staff and students during this period, so it’s a great time to see if you connect with what you see. 

Did you know that more than half of the polytechnic students actively participate in this event? In fact, classes are suspended during this event. That’s how much everyone – from the marketing team to the student greeters – wants to make you feel welcome and leave a positive impression on you.  So please don’t hold back. Actively participate in the activities planned or even high-five us at the entrance! Dive right in and get a sense of the spirit of each school.

Polytechnic open houses are a joy to be a part of, thanks to the tremendous dedication that goes into making this event a reality, and the genuine excitement from everyone as they eagerly greet visitors. With such a vibrant energy and abundance of opportunities waiting, we trust that whichever polytechnic you choose to explore, you’ll find a place that will feel like your second home.

Ready for the weekend? Upload this to your calendar.

In 2024, all polytechnics are open to the public from January 4 to 6, 2024.


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