Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT ) will host a virtual open day on this Saturday, April 24, to help prospective students make an informed decision as they navigate the CAO decision-making process.
The virtual event, which will kick off at 11am and conclude at 2pm, will feature a series of live departmental talks with heads of department and other academics, live chat sessions with current students across a range of disciplines, panel discussions, and virtual campus tours.
Attendees can also expect to find a plethora of CAO videos and podcasts relevant to their course(s ) of interest embedded onto the institute’s bespoke virtual open day platform in addition to a live web Q&A feature, which will run for the full duration of the event.
Though the window for normal CAO applications closed on February 1, 2021, students have an opportunity to change their mind and make amendments to their CAO application until July 1, 2021.
According to AIT Student Recruitment Officer Claire Connor, this is the time for Leaving Certificate, QQI and mature students to really evaluate their CAO options and ensure that they are making the best decision for them.
“When making your CAO choice, it’s important to really think about what you want to do after you finish your two/three or four years,” she explains, adding that events like the upcoming open day are the ideal forum to ask lots of questions.
“Attending the event in a virtual capacity actually offers a lot of advantages: you can attend from the comfort of your own home and ask as many questions as you’d like.
“You might be wondering how many hours a week you could expect to work in a particular field or if you’d be working in an office environment all day; these are just some of the really important questions that you can get answered at an open day,” Claire stated.
Researching courses and preparing your questions in advance is key to getting the most out of the open day. This is a common pitfall Claire says can be easily avoided.
“Have your questions prepared beforehand and don’t be afraid to ask them – whether it is to a student ambassador or an academic.
“Make sure that every question you need answered for your decision-making process is asked so that you can leave and say ‘ok, I’m happy with my decision.” In advance of the open day, Claire recommends checking out the AIT CAO Hub to learn more about the courses on offer across AIT’s four faculties, student supports, sporting and leisure facilities and lots more.
“It’s the perfect ‘one-stop-shop’ for prospective students to find out everything and anything they need to know about the transition to third level and what’s on offer at AIT.
“We have everything from quick two-minute course videos to a podcast series, which gives an in-depth course overview – it’s a 10-15-minute chat with a lecturer or a course coordinator about modules, learning style and more.
“This is so important as the learning and teaching style of third level is quite different to second level and knowing what you’re going to be doing will make that transition so much easier and less intimidating,” Claire added.
If prospective students want to have a chat about their CAO options before or, indeed, after the open day, they can also book in for a free, 30-minute virtual guidance consultation via Zoom or phone.
“We can chat all things AIT, whether it’s courses, accommodation, entry requirements - any questions you may have, just book an appointment. Students are welcome to bring their parents, teachers or GCs along also if they wish.
“It is an excellent way to get information and ask questions on a more individual basis. Heads of department, lecturers and course coordinators will also come along to answer any specific questions course questions, and if you have any other questions, myself or a member of the #AskAIT team are here to support you,” Claire concluded.
Join AIT for the virtual CAO open day on Saturday, April 24, from 11am-2pm.