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Life as an Orientation Leader

todayNovember 6, 2018 30

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By Andronica Owens
Web Content Contributor

With applications closed, Texas State Admissions has begun the process of preparing for summer 2019 by starting the search for new leaders on campus.

Orientation Leaders are representatives of the university during summer orientation. New Student Orientation (NSO) is required for all incoming students to attend because it gives them a chance to explore the campus, learn about the history and resources of the school and register for class. Orientation leaders play a significant role in welcoming the incoming students and leaving a lasting impression on them.

“It’s pressure on you because you’re the first people they’ll meet and the only resource they have,” said Ismael Lozano, former orientation leader. “You’re in a leadership position so you’ll really have to step out of your comfort zone and engage with the students.”

Applying to be an orientation leader means dedicating your summer and committing yourself to being a leader for rounds of students visiting the campus over the summer. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes and orientation leaders put in numerous hours to make everyone’s experience enjoyable.

“The summer is what you make it, but it can get stressful,” said Zephanie Battle, an orientation leader of two years. “Burnout can happen when you’re working those long hours. It can really take a toll on you.”

While the hours are long and you spend a long time in the summer heat, there are many benefits that come with the position. Along with the skills you gain to put on a resume, orientation leaders are surrounded by their staff all summer and able to interact and make long lasting connections with their coworkers.

“We’re all weird. Each one of us has a quirk or thing going on and that’s what makes us unique and attracts us to other people,” Lozano said. “We all got along and we like to plan events on the weekend. Everyone is included and it felt like a family.”

In addition to spending the days with your staff, you get a chance to interact with incoming students and be part of their process transitioning into college. Meeting people from diverse backgrounds and finding ways to engage with them can be an eye-opener for anyone on the job.

“Knowing that I can relate to people who didn’t think like me was new for me,” Battle said.

“You’re going in meeting so many different people and you get to know them. They have different opinions and beliefs and you get to see things from a new perspective.”

With the application process closed and moving into the next phases, students are encouraged to prepare for what comes ahead. Student Coordinator for New Student Orientation and former orientation leader, Darrian Bell, gave an insight on what they are looking for in applicants and what can help them in their journey to become a leader.

“We want someone who has charisma and is comfortable talking to people,” Bell said. “Just be yourself. Be comfortable and stay positive. We don’t only hire a certain type of person. We want a diverse staff so we’re able to reach out to a larger group of people.”

The application to be an orientation leader was due November 5th and recommendation letters are due November 13th. Texas State Admissions will contact students with more information in the coming months. For those interested in becoming a future orientation leader you can read more at Undergraduate Admissions.

Featured photo by Andronica Owens.

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