On Campus

A Brief Introduction

Well, you might have read those extraordinary bios on the way in, and thought to yourself, “Wow, some of these people are pretty impressive…except for that Mark guy, who plays for a hockey team with a mildly offensive name.”

 Let me clarify; while I love those Motherpuckers, there’s a little bit more to Bishop’s University’s newest recruiter.

As the title at the top probably indicates, my name is Mark Lawson.  For four fun years, I was a student at Bishop’s University. I played lacrosse, wrote for the newspaper, was a leadership intern, worked with the Model UN, sat on Bishop’s Board of Governors, and capped it all off with a stint as student body president. It was an incredible time, and looking back, helped me grow in ways I never expected. I graduated from Bishop’s in Political Studies, with a minor in English, and a certificate in French from Université de Sherbrooke

With graduation fast approaching – a date that, as a freshman, you never think could actually come – I had a few choices: Grad school? Job? Panic? Cry?

Fortunately for me, Bishop’s thought, “hey, this guy’s got something”, and hired me as the newest member of the recruiting department. Since I liked the idea of working for a place that had given me so much, the answer was a no-brainer:  Yes!

Over the course of my blog, I’m going to introduce you to life as a university recruiter. My first impression is that its months of planning, followed by frantic weeks travelling the country. I’m quite new to this, so you’ll have a chance to follow me as I experience the ups and downs of life on the road for the first time.

First of all, let me get one thing out of the way: I love Bishop’s University, and I think it was the best place for me to spend four years. But Canada is full of great universities, and the one I chose might not be the best one for you. Maclean’s didn’t hire me to pontificate, but to report on the unique life of a recruiter.

The truth is that every year, students across Canada – and across the world – choose universities and colleges that suit them for a variety of reasons. You may be looking for a small campus community like Bishop’s. Or, you may be looking for the bustle of a big city to keep you busy, leading you to UBC. While getting a degree is priority number one, it may not be the programs a university offers that make or break it for you. Richard Florida’s book “Who’s Your City?” discusses how people choose which city to live in, and I think it’s the same when students pick which place to spend their next four or five years.

 I’ll discuss that concept more in future blogs, where I’ll also touch on “recruiter-speak”, the characters I work with, life on the road, and the tools universities use to identify and convert prospective students. The advent of Web 2.0 is dragging the Ivory Tower into the 21st century, and I’ll write on how universities are using social media to get their message out there.

For now, it’s back to work, as I begin to craft a social media strategy for Bishop’s. Talk to you soon…