One of the most unexpected yet rewarding experiences I have had while at BGSU was being a member of the 2014 Orientation Team. For me, the journey of working with New Student Orientation began with serving as an Opening Weekend Group Leader my sophomore year. Going further as an Orientation Leader and an Orientation Team Leader increased my involvement at BGSU and took my career path in an entirely new and unexpected direction. Before getting involved with New Student Orientation, I was somewhat involved on campus but did not have any leadership roles. I never saw myself as a leader because I am somewhat quiet and introverted, which is why receiving this opportunity initially surprised me. Now, I have a stronger understanding of how those traits can make me a great leader and how I can use them to my advantage.
As an Orientation Leader, I was given the opportunity to speak with first year students and guests, and share my story of my transition to BGSU. I met people who were coming from a similar background as me and I met people who couldn’t have been more different than me. I made connections with as many of these students as possible, with the shared experience of being Falcons tying us together. But along with these connections, I was given the opportunity to grow as a leader. Serving as a mentor, first point of contact, and source of information for incoming first year students allowed me to develop my own personal leadership style and build lasting relationships with so many different students. Being a part of the Orientation Team, I became a much better team player, and I learned from the best group of leaders I have ever had the privilege of meeting. We were a diverse group with different strengths. This team taught me when to step up and use my strengths, and when to step back and let others shine.
These roles and responsibilities just scratch the surface of what I got to do as an Orientation Leader. I was given the privilege of working with the most inspiring group of leaders I have ever met, I learned about and fell in love with this campus all over again, and I grew as a leader in more ways than I ever could have imagined. I also found a new career path, by learning more about student affairs, and recognizing my passion for the field. This position opened my eyes to so much possibility, and has given me countless new opportunities, both personally and professionally.