College recruiters work at all seven City Colleges of Chicago to attract prospective students and help them understand the value of a City Colleges education. We spoke with two Olive-Harvey College recruiters, Justin Kehinde and Demarcus Robinson, to learn more about their roles. Kehinde and Robinson share their recruiting goals and insight into what makes their work worthwhile.
What does a college recruiter do, for readers who might not know?
Justin Kehinde: We work hard to get core information about Olive-Harvey College to students who are looking to attend our school. These could be recent high school graduates or folks who have been out of school for a number of years and are looking to obtain a degree or certificate. I use a variety of recruiting strategies to engage with prospective students, from connecting with high school counselors and teachers for on-site visits, to hosting virtual information sessions and more.
Demarcus Robinson: I do the same. I connect with students where they are, whether in face-to-face encounters, over email, or by connecting via a personal phone call. Students get excited when they hear about the resources Olive-Harvey offers, like scholarship opportunities, job placement, and tutoring labs.
Can you both share what brought you to a recruiting role at Olive-Harvey College?
Demarcus Robinson: After graduating from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in business, I worked in marketing for over five years, but later decided to go into factory work. I started working part time at Olive-Harvey College as a forklift instructor in November of 2021. I really liked teaching the class and enjoyed seeing students happy and continuously improving. When I discovered a college recruiter position was open here, I applied and got hired! I love what I do.
Justin Kehinde: I graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and worked in sales until two years ago when I entered the world of academia. It has always been a desire of mine to help college students. I love advising new and continuing students on what to expect in college and how to prepare for work or additional schooling after graduation.
Which Olive-Harvey College programs do students get excited about during your recruiting conversations and tours?
Justin Kehinde: Our “1 Year and Out” Criminal Justice program is becoming one of our most popular programs since its formation earlier this year. Prospective students also seem to really enjoy our tours of Olive-Harvey’s Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics (TDL) Center. I don’t know too many colleges that have a retired bus, a plane, and trucks in their building! Relatedly, Olive-Harvey’s Project Evolve program is very popular. It’s our Workforce Equity Initiative that offers 13 short-term career certificate programs in the TDL field. Students who qualify get more than a great education – there are so many benefits included in the program like mentoring, career coaching, childcare assistance, and full tuition coverage.
Demarcus Robinson: TDL programs are popular for sure. I see lots of excitement about our hands-on programs like class A and B Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) certificates. Our Urban Agriculture Applied Cannabis Studies pathway also peaks students’ interest and draws students to Olive-Harvey.
What is your philosophy about student engagement and recruitment?
Demarcus Robinson: As one of the first City Colleges employees that a future student might engage with, I want to show them how helpful and kind our staff here at Olive-Harvey are.
Justin Kehinde: Exactly. The first impression is the longest lasting. It’s important that I have answers ready when prospective students ask them.
Is there anything else you’d like to share that makes Olive-Harvey College a special place to work and learn?
Justin Kehinde: When the COVID-19 pandemic began, schools all over the country were scrambling to figure out how to adapt to online learning. Olive-Harvey College already had a lot of online and hybrid programs in place. As a college, we’ve done a fantastic job adapting to the changing academic environment created by the pandemic.
Demarcus Robinson: That’s a great point, Justin, and I’ve seen that too. There’s a strong sense of community here. I must mention, too, that Olive-Harvey students earn certificates and degrees while taking on little to no debt. That’s life-changing.
Ready to make a meaningful change in your life? Connect with the recruiters at Olive-Harvey College by calling Justin Kehinde at (773)291-6470 and Demarcus Robinson at (773)291-6361.