Fall Open House: The Room Where It Happens

This past Fall Open House showcased NYU’s vibrant community. But it takes work to look this good. Take a peek behind the curtain with the marketing and special events teams.

Photo of Dash Gabriel

What’s the first thing you notice when you walk into a room? Maybe your eyes glance over the entire space, taking in the decor. Maybe you immediately zone in on the first face that greets you with a warm “Hello.” Or if you’re like me, you choose to skip the small talk and find the food. But no matter what you notice first, something greater remains when you leave—how you feel. 

As a part of the NYU Special Events team, I assist in planning all of the undergraduate events for prospective students and newly admitted students. Our most recent Fall Open House, and all the events in between—from campus tours to candidate weekends abroad—help paint a picture of why NYU is home to the Earth’s boldest dreamers. My job is to help you consider how you can belong here, too.

And while that might seem cliché, it really does matter. Because let’s be real. It’s safe to say that the goal of most prospective students is to captivate a college admissions counselor. But what if I told you, I have the same goal, only the person I’m trying to impress is, well, YOU…and also your family…but mostly, YOU.  

Intrigued? I hope so, because behind the glitz and exponential amount of violet pride is the glam squad that brings the NYU community together for an experience like no other. Here’s a peek behind the curtain. *Alexa, play Hamilton’s “The Room Where it Happens.”*

It’s All Sorted Out

Joe showcasing the scale of materials given out to our attendees through Fall Open House.
Joe, who is a part of our marketing team, showcases the scale of materials we receive for Fall Open House!
The marketing and special events teams begin to prep on Friday, organizing all the materials for the weekend.
The marketing and special events teams begin to prep on Friday, organizing all the materials for the weekend.
“NYU can be a complex place to navigate. Because of this, all the content our audiences constantly digests, the print publications we put together, and the emails we send intend to make the University feel more accessible for students.
Even if NYU doesn’t feel like the right fit, above all, we want prospective students to have enough exposure to make an educated decision on the next steps of their college application journey. We’re here as a resource throughout that process.”

—Joe Picini, Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications

Balloons in Washington Square Park.
Navigating our campus is always made easy with a plethora of balloons around Washington Square Park!
Students posing with Fall Open House materials.
Mia, an Admissions Ambassador, models the programs attendees receive when they arrive to their session.

Get With the Program

“During Fall Open House, we want the guest experience to be as seamless as possible. We focus on academics and what makes NYU such a compelling and creative enterprise in our school sessions, and then balance that by sharing the NYU campus experience. The All University Lounge and our campus and residential tours allow prospective students to picture themselves already here. My favorite thing ‘to share’ is actually our current students! They highlight the NYU experience, from challenging courses they’re taking to their spot to meet friends for lunch.”

—Jackelyn Rivera, Senior Associate Director, Special Events and Visitor Relations

Purple People Greeters

Ambassadors pushing a cart of materials in the rain.
Rain or shine, our Admissions Ambassadors help keep the day running smoothly!
Ambassadors in front of photo backdrop and Samara prepping ambassadors for check-in.
Above: Fall Open House is a memory worth capturing on film, literally. Below: Samara preps Admissions Ambassadors for our first morning rush.

“I think one of the most important takeaways of Fall Open House programming is that students have a clear sense of all that NYU has to offer, and that they feel welcomed by our staff and ambassadors. One thing that surprises people when they visit is the sense of community you truly feel on this campus with no walls. The students, staff, and faculty really are integrated into the neighborhood and the history of this part of the city. As a result, it’s something you can feel when stepping on campus. Those who want to make this home will feel an immediate sense of belonging.”

—Samara Berger, Senior Assistant Director, Visitor Relations and Special Events 

“While we take pride in Fall Open House, attendees are looking to see themselves reflected in current students. They’re not here to see us! Students really want to know what the next four years of college will be like for them. So as a rule, we really strive to make sure all the schools are represented and that our students speak to different experiences and backgrounds. The ambassadors bring the school to life through their storytelling and the tours they give around campus. They represent what college is about. No one can tell that story better than an NYU student. No one is going to be more authentic or engaged than an NYU Admissions Ambassador.”

—Camille Wilson, Assistant Director, Visitor Relations and Special Events

School Is in Session

Potential students and their families gathered for an academic session.
Here’s a snapshot of one of our school sessions taking place at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. It’s a full house!
A Silver School of Social Work representative shares information with potential students.
A representative shares the 411 on all things related to social work.

“I love to answer questions related to NYU’s Core Curriculum during school sessions. Namely because the answer exemplifies just how global our community is. Our Core Curriculum draws from multidisciplinary perspectives to offer student core competencies reflective of the world’s traditions and responsive to the needs of an interconnected world. Graduates leave NYU with an academic framework to better understand and address major global challenges and bring about solutions. That answer always leads to insightful conversations.”

—Salelaye Samoura, Assistant Director of Admissions, NYU Abu Dhabi

It’s All About NY-YOU

Ambassadors and special events team zipping up the photobooth backdrop.
It takes all hands on deck (and backs on the floor) to get this photobooth zipped up.
Departments and student organizations tabling at Fall Open House.
The All University Lounge features all our schools and colleges as well as a variety of student organizations, including Latinos Unidos Con Honor y Amistad (L.U.C.H.A) seen here.

“My passion for higher education comes from a belief that learning is the key to opportunity. As young people learn more, they are encouraged to think beyond the limits of their experiences. Regardless of their background, education exposes students to ideas they may have never considered before. They’re challenged to expand their own beliefs or to learn why they might want to defend them fiercely. Education is what exposes students to ideas. As a result, they learn to do what we already do more effectively or develop an entirely new profession. Seeing that occur for young people inspires me every day.”

—Jonathan B. Williams, Assistant Vice President for Undergraduate Admissions

The Room Where It Happened

Members of the Marketing and Special Events team having fun in our green room.
Even after a long day’s work, I always make room for some behind-the-scenes fun with my team.
Balloon and pin sign that reads, “Welcome to NYU.”
During event days, our violet pride takes over Washington Square Park. We love a signature color!

If you’re reading this, you’ve made it to the end of our Fall Open House journey! But this is just a glimpse of what goes into what we do and the many passionate people who help bring it all together. I alluded earlier that behind the glitz is hard labor, but it’s not all work and no play.

We always take a moment to greet the Bobcat during the All University Lounge, recognize celebratory milestones with our staff, and sneak in silly moments as we pack up at the end of that day. Truth be told, it is your passion, motivation, and curiosity that really drives us to share the best and brightest of NYU and to create a memorable experience for you, no matter the season. Which can only mean one thing—you should be a part of the room where it happens.