A teary-eyed Anne Kalil gave her final hugs and goodbyes at the last open house she organized for Algonquin College.
“I love Algonquin, I love this event. It’s a lot of work. I just feel like I’m ready to go. I am going to miss a lot of people,” Kalil said at the Nov. 4 event.
Saturdays are usually a low-energy day on campus, but the open house had the E-building and Marketplace food court flooded with prospective students and families.
This was Kalil’s last time organizing the open house alongside recruitment officers, the marketing team and volunteers before she retires in December.
Kalil spent the day hustling around the campus, full of energy. “It really does take teamwork,” she said. She happily chatted with families and new students as she moved through the event.
Thirty-three years working at Algonquin College has given Kalil the opportunity to change lives and build relationships that last a lifetime. She will be a missed staff member at Algonquin, but is leaving as a cherished member of the school community.
As the manager of student recruitment, Kalil took on coordinating events like the open house to showcase what the school has to offer.
“My job is helping students find their way and introducing them to possibilities,” she said.
Her goal throughout her career was to change lives and give people the opportunity to have a successful future.
Volunteers and recruitment officers greeted families at the door with maps of the school and directions to specific program locations and other support services.
The recruitment department plays a huge role in introducing students to what the school has to offer.
“We travel to Ontario high schools to give presentations about Algonquin. We show them what is offered at school and answer any questions they have,” said Rita Dokamajian, an AC recruitment officer.
Managing the recruitment team gave Kalil the opportunity to build relationships with the amazing team of people she works with, but also with people from every department at the school.
“Not everyone gets to meet all the people I have been privileged enough to meet,” Kalil said. “Many are just siloed in their jobs, but my job has given me that nice opportunity to meet a lot of people.”
The open house gives future students information on financial support, co-op, the residence and more.
The services had tables and coordinators in the E-building while the food court hosted the program information tables and application stations.
“The most popular would probably be trades and healthcare programs,” said Shelley Teskey, the student ambassador leader.
After 12 years of contributing to the event, Teskey helps the team with promoting the school through radio, newspapers, online platforms and social media, while managing a variety of other school-related responsibilities.
In previous years the open house was a three-day event that brought in busloads of high school students. With lots of trial and error, the recruitment and marketing teams have worked toward creating the perfect open house layout.
“Since we switched to the Saturday event, a lot of people come with parents and friends,” said Kalil, “especially from far away, we have people come from all over the place.”
This open house broke the record for number of registrants with 3,600 people enrolled. Every year there are new upgrades depending on surveys answered by students and staff.
“We are always making changes, but the formula stays the same,” explained Kalil. “We only have so much of a footprint of the college we can use, there aren’t many large spaces available.”
Unsure of who will be taking her position, Kalil is sure they will do the school justice.
“We have a really amazing staff in marketing and recruitment,” she said.