November is the season of presentations of different departments in KAIST. As only a few weeks are left for freshmen to decide their majors, seniors and professors are in a hurry to persuade and recruit as many freshmen into their majoring departments. One of the ways they chose to gather freshmen and convince them is to open a briefing session. When these presentations are held, each department prepares pizza, chicken, or other snacks to draw in more students. They even plan small events to try to convince freshmen to join the meetings.
In the meetings, seniors and professors properly introduce their departments by explaining the curriculums required for majoring students and careers after graduating college. Also, they take questions from the freshmen and give feedback to undecided students. These activities are the main purpose for opening the conference. However, there is another big event that interests most of the freshmen: eating free food. Many freshmen attend the presentation mostly for this. Even though they are not so interested in that particular field or have actually set their minds on the other department, they still participate for the prizes.
It is a sad reality but gathering more freshmen and interesting them is so crucial that seniors have to use prizes to lure more people. And it would be unfair to see this phenomenon in a negative view only. It feels somewhat bitter to admit the fact that the student participation rate will be very low if there are no prizes or apparent benefits. However, it is for the best to just admit such circumstances and focus on what can be done to improve the situation. It is important to balance the main purpose and the prizes. Prizes should be used as tools to interest and motivate the freshmen.
Another important fact to consider is that students can get the general image of each department as they attend the meeting. For instance, the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering (NQe) gave out fish-shaped bread they just baked on the streets rather than just hanging notices on the board. Due to the cold weather and the warm bread, students lined up and waited to get the free bread. When they were waiting in line, they became aware that NQe was having a briefing session. Also, by seeing students of NQe taking turns baking bread, freshmen could get the image that the students there are more intimate with one another and get along very well. These images can also play an important role in freshmen deciding the department that they want to major in.
Lastly, it is important to provide freshmen useful information. Many students get disappointed after attending the briefing session because they did not get enough information that they wanted. It is hard to deliver every detail about the department in less than an hour. Therefore, seniors have to prepare concrete and effective presentations to keep freshmen focused while delivering helpful information. It is important to provide supplements to the main content of the presentations so freshmen could actually gain new useful information as they attend the meetings.
The purpose of these presentations of different department for freshmen is great. It really helps some students to choose their major, and the overall atmosphere of having an explanation session allows freshmen to think once more about the field they want to major in. This event just needs more improvements on balancing the actual content and the prizes they provide to lure in more freshmen.