09 July 2017

Everything you always wanted to know about Open Day … but were too afraid to ask!

We’ve asked some of our best and seasoned staff volunteers for their advice on how to survive Open Day … and here is what they said.

Hints and tips … for surviving Open Day

Volunteers at City campus

Volunteers at City campus

  • Smile a lot and enjoy it – Open Day goes really fast.
  • Wear comfortable shoes!
  • Your students are your best ambassadors.
  • Try and remember to talk to the prospective student, not their parents.
  • There is no “I” in Team … but there is a “U” in Volunteer!
  • It’s great helping future students and ultimately helping to transform lives.
  • Make sure you have a warm coat and gloves if you are working outside on the day.
  • Have lots of patience ... you will be asked the same thing over and over by different people and every time you have to answer as if it’s the first time!
  • Try to get a couple of nights of good sleep in the lead up to Open Day … you're going to need every ounce of energy.
  • Make sure you sort out your wardrobe, transport for the day and have packed your “go bag” the day before too.
  • If you are working for the full day, don’t forget to take a proper lunch break with your supplied lunch box … and enjoy your break, it’s a busy day!
  • Have a think about key buildings on the RMIT campus and what is happening in them … knowing in advance will help with answering queries.
  • Go with the flow and have fun!
  • Be prepared to get in and help out … and if someone is looking lost ask them if you can help.

The best things about Open Day …

Volunteers at

Volunteers at Bundoora Campus

  • Seeing my students shine.
  • Seeing excited young people who passionately want to come to RMIT and study here – it reminds you why RMIT exists and its importance in helping so many people fulfil their dreams.
  • Seeing how our students showcase their leadership skills – in terms of managing peers and executing tasks with little or no staff direction.
  • Chatting with parents and prospective students – they view RMIT in such a positive way.
  • The buzz around all the campuses.
  • Great atmosphere and meeting our future students.
  • I get lots of joy and satisfaction from helping visitors – I love the excitement!
  • Everyone has a story … meeting future students is an enriching experience.
  • Having my photo taken with our VC, Martin Bean at Bundoora campus.

The worst things about Open Day …

  • Sore feet.
  • The lulls, especially in the last hour – do you pack up early?
  • The weather – the wind, the cold!
  • That it's held in Melbourne’s winter.
  • Getting out of bed early to come to work on a Sunday.
  • Explaining for the 100th time where Building 80 is!
  • The rain … if there is any.

A few stories from Open Day staff volunteers …

Volunteers at Brunswick campus

Volunteers at Brunswick campus

Last year I encouraged six students to volunteer for Open Day. We also moved venues so it felt far less formal, far less like an interview with a staff member behind a table. Everyone stood up, like at an Expo. It was brilliant … such a buzz and the student volunteers were amazing.

I love overhearing conversations about people's experiences of the day ... particularly when they don't know I’m RMIT staff and they talk about someone I know – your perspective of that person really alters ... it seems that Open Day really does bring out the best in our staff … making them smarter and more handsome too!

Interested in being part of RMIT Open Day as a staff volunteer?

Event Day Blur by Natasha Emerson

Event Day Blur – Natasha Emerson

Open Day is a really fun day … and we’d love YOU to be part of it!

You can volunteer via your School for Open Day to promote your School and its programs – please liaise as usual with your School to organise your involvement

Or you can volunteer to work centrally to help out with general directions, Open Day guide distribution and other duties. You’ll get to be part of RMIT’s Open Day community, share your knowledge of the University with potential new students and, with approval from your manager, be eligible to claim Time Off in Lieu.

Register as a central Staff volunteer for Open Day

A very BIG thanks to all our Open Day staff volunteers – the stalwarts, veterans and newbies – who contributed to this article with their hints, tips and examples from Open Days they have volunteered at previously.

They are:

Dr Jeremy Keens, School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, SEH – 23 Open Days

Jacqueline Partridge, Marketing, E&VE – 22 Open Days

Monika Engelhard, Marketing and Business Development, E&VE – 18 Open Days

Natasha Emerson, Marketing, E&VE – 18 Open Days

Deborah Sippitts, Communications, E&VE – 10 Open Days

Nicky Carr, School of Education, DSC – 9 Open Days

David Glanz, Communications, E&VE – 6 Open Days

Tania Ulcigrai, Marketing, E&VE – 5 Open Days

Ian Kearney, Industry Engagement, E&VE – 4 Open Days

Debbie Shaw, Industry Business Development – 4 Open Days

Macy Wong, Property Services, Resources – 3 Open Days

Michael Langhorne, Planning and Resources, E&VE/Global Development – 2 Open Days

Snehal Kabra, Human Resources, Resources - 1 Open Day