For Justin Bayer, a visit to the University as a high schooler changed his life in more ways than one.
Even though the University wasn’t part of his collegiate list as a high school student, his campus visit changed everything — both academically and professionally.
“My junior year in high school, UD wasn’t even on my radar. After probably the fifth time my guidance counselor encouraged me to visit, I finally did,” he said.
It was the campus visit that propelled Bayer, then a student at Archbishop Moeller, to make the University his new home.
“That was the turning point for the rest of my life,” Bayer, a Cincinnati native now living in New Orleans, said.
The visit had such an impact on him that nine years after graduating he developed his own startup company, Welcome To College, to help make the campus visit an even better experience.
Welcome To College has created ambassador management software that helps colleges ignite meaningful connections with prospective students before, during and after the college visit experience. Students can learn about the school before they arrive and begin forming relationships with the tour guides via online interactions.
Welcome To College also provides consulting, training and analysis for clients. More than 50 universities, including the University of Dayton, use Welcome To College to enhance the college visit experience.
“It’s been the classic roller coaster ride. We’re still in the bottom of the first inning of the Welcome To College journey,” Bayer said of his future goals.
He added, “It’s all about being surrounded by people who believe in you. Without my wife’s full-time support and help from many others along the way, I couldn’t have done this.”
Despite the hard work of founding a startup, Bayer says he wouldn’t trade what he does for anything.
“I don’t think I’ve been put on the planet to do anything but what we’re doing right now,” he said.