Recruiting First-Year Students

Continuing this month’s Hot Topic of recruitment and retention, here are some great recruitment ideas from your fellow SWE sections!

  • Contact freshmen to let them know about SWE. Mail them letters, if possible. It’s always more exciting to get snail-mail than e-mail, and real letters are a lot harder to “delete.”
  • Talk to your Admissions office for advice. It’s free! Plus, it’s their job to know how to recruit specifically for your campus.
  • Gather up some older members and walk through the engineering halls in the dorms. Personally invite people to the first meeting.
  • Invite people from related non-engineering majors, such as Computer Science and Architecture.
  • Hold a back-to-school recruitment picnic, banquet, pizza party, or ice cream social. If your section can only afford to have food at one event, make it the first meeting. Free food is always a huge draw, considering the quality of some campus’s dorm food.
  • Make sure to introduce everyone at the first few meetings. If your section is huge, break up the room into groups. Have everyone say where they’re from and where they’ve interned/co-oped. This way, freshmen have A) someone they know from the same area, and B) know who to talk to about getting a job.
  • Decorate or tie-dye SWE t-shirts early in the semester. With an item of SWE apparel in their hands, they’ll think of SWE every time they open their closet or do their laundry. It’s also good publicity for your section if every member has a SWE shirt!
  • Hold a membership drive with a fabulous prize, like an iPod. Everyone will be scrambling to become a paid SWE member if their $20 membership fee might earn them something really cool. The winner will think of SWE every time they use their iPod, and likely tell all their friends about SWE’s cool giveaway. It also boosts your national membership!
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