Left to right are: Yuma Ortiz (a current USFSM student), Jessica Mizrahi (a prospective student), Brooke Welch (prospective student), Emily Barnes (current student) and Stephanie D'Agustino (current student).

Bulls Notebook: USF Sarasota-Manatee offers ‘Classroom & Career Days’

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: March 24, 2017

SARASOTA, Fla. (March 24, 2017)USF Sarasota-Manatee is offering a glimpse into the life of a student.

With the spring semester winding down, the campus this week rolled out a pilot program called “Classroom & Career Days” that offered Sarasota and Manatee high school seniors an opportunity to spend a half day in a USFSM classroom observing students and their professors.

The exercise, which came courtesy of USFSM’s Admissions Office, was designed to allow potential freshmen a chance to learn what campus life is all about. A handful participated in the tours over two days, Wednesday and Thursday, and instructors were consulted ahead of time to expect the students.

Bulls Notebook: USF Sarasota-Manatee offers ‘Classroom & Career Days’

Brandon Avery, assistant director of admissions

“We did this because we really wanted to personalize the enrollment experience,” Assistant Director of Admissions Brandon Avery said. “We wanted this experience to be something totally different than an open house or any other large-scale event. We really wanted this to be organic.”

After the sessions, a group from USFSM sat with the students to answer questions over lunch. As far as Avery knows, USFSM is the first campus in the USF System to offer the Classroom & Career Days.

“This allows prospective students a chance to get to know our current students and each other versus just learning facts about the school,” he said. “We think that makes this event really special.”

An Admissions advisor accompanied the students to class, but no one was briefed ahead of time about what to expect in the classroom.

“We think this approach was brave because we never asked what the instructors were going to teach or what our student leaders would talk about,” he said. “We just believe that we have a great community and we wanted our prospective students to be able to share in that in an unfiltered way.”

With classes at USFSM winding down, no other tours are scheduled this semester, but they could resume in the fall. So far, the reaction has been positive, Avery says.

“I was curious about how a day works at USFSM. I wanted to get a feel for a classroom setting and the different events,” said Lilly Hodge, a senior at Lakewood Ranch High School in Manatee County.

After the event, she added, “I will definitely attend USFSM.”

Following her visit, Madison Koch, a senior at Inspiration Academy in Bradenton said, “I’m even more excited to go there this fall.”

The USFSM Carnival coming April 7

The second-annual USFSM Carnival is scheduled from 3 to 8 p.m. April 7 at the USFSM campus, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

This event, which comes in the midst of USFSM Week, is free and open to the public. Carnival rides, games, balloon artists, caricatures and more will be offered. Free parking. Bring your family and friends to this spirited event.

USFSM Week is a weeklong celebration of USFSM. Each campus within the USF System holds similar weeklong celebrations.

Winner-take-all tourney set Monday

Tensions have been brewing all semester. Some are talking smack. On Monday, March 27, all questions will be answered.

The NCAA tournament?

Please. It’s the inaugural USFSM Student versus Faculty & Staff Basketball Game.

Set for 5 p.m. at the campus’ north end, this gem of a winner-take-all match will finally answer the question plaguing generations of sports fans: Experience or youth? Keep in mind, youth is aiming for a decent grade and finals are around the corner.

No more than 15 players per team. To participate or learn more, visit usfsm.edu/events/.

Technical Career Fair a success

Kudos to Justin Bowie.

The Information Technology student landed a full-time job at Sarasota-based Tropics Software Technologies after attending USFSM’s Technical Career Fair Feb. 1.

His wasn’t the only success story, but Bowie was eager to share the news.

“I wanted to say thank you for your efforts to get me placed in a position,” he wrote in a March 10 missive to Career Services Advisor Toni Ripo. “I just finished my first week and am excited to push my career forward with (Tropics Software).”

Bowie said the fair enabled him to meet the company’s hiring manager. Career Services sponsored the four-hour event at Selby Auditorium in conjunction with the S3 IT Club@USFSM.

In all, 18 employers attended, as well as dozens of students from USF Sarasota-Manatee, New College of Florida, Manatee Technical College and State College of Florida.

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