There's a learning curve for lots of college freshman, young students that are leaping into something brand new. For the third straight year, the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech has brought in a select group of freshman before classes start and told them, 'don't worry, take that leap of faith."
"Finding that study spot for you is going to definitely by helpful'', words of wisdom from a recent VT graduate, now working for the firm Ernst and Young. One of three VT grads who came back to share their college experience with these soon to be Hokies.
On this day, inside Torgerson Hall on the campus of Virginia Tech, a roomful of mostly 18 year olds, are listening to a few Virginia Tech grads, now in the working world. Each sharing tips and clues about what it takes to be successful in their freshman year and beyond.
Sitting off to the side, watching as these freshman pay attention, was recent graduate Philip Coralde. He was silent most of the time, until he stood up and addressed the students with a firm and clear message, "Three things to break your whole career down, academics, work, play. Academics, work, play."
More than 60 incoming freshman, by invitation only, from around the country and the world, are part of a week long program called LEAP, which stands for leadership, excellence and academics at Pamplin."
This is third year, the Pamplin College of Business has invited select freshman to campus early on. On the whiteboard, at the front of the room three big tips are written out; Have a system, take "me" time, and give back. Deanna Bonaventura is an incoming freshman from Virginia Beach, she sat at the front of the class and took notes, "I appreciated all the time management stuff because I think it's going to be on your own and trying to manage your time when your parents aren't here to be like 'you need to do this."
Virginia Tech says diversity is key here, scanning the room, I saw all colors and ethnicity groups. Renee Cloyd is the director of LEAP at Pamplin, "Diversity in this day and age means Southwest Virginia, Northern Virginia to California. Tall, short, ethnic diversity, socio-economic diversity."
Tech says former LEAPERS finished their freshman year with better grades than other first year students.
Soon-to-be freshman Mark Gavino said he hopes to manage his time the right way so there's still time for fun, "There's definitely more time where I can add in more things, that hopefully it won't be too stressful and it will work in."