As nearly 10,000 undergraduate students prepare to begin classes in the fall, 34 orientation leaders have been busy this summer welcoming these new freshmen and transfer students, and their families, to campus. Orientation leaders show students and their families the ins and outs of campus, offer insights on how to connect with resources and share plenty of Spartan spirit at a total of 16 orientation sessions.
We are pleased to share a series that introduces some of the orientation leaders who shared their own educational goals, why they are involved as an orientation leader and their favorite Spartan memory.
Major and expected Graduation date:
Advertising with a minor in Graphic Design, Spring 2020
Why did you become an orientation leader?
There were two main reasons why I wanted to become an orientation leader. The first was because I wanted to be able to have the same impact that my orientation leader had on me. I was one of the many students that was reluctant to attend SJSU. I wasn’t too optimistic going into orientation either. It wasn’t until I was able to meet my orientation leader and hear more about him when I was able to appreciate SJSU for more than the stereotypes I had heard from high school. This also ties into my second reason, in that I wanted to be able to share my story in order to encourage students that might have the same feelings about SJSU, showing them that there’s a place for them.
What is your favorite part of orientation?
My favorite part about orientation is when I’m able to see the students be themselves not only around me but also each other. Each student is different and responds to certain activities and personality types differently. It warms my heart when I’m able to joke around with the students and have the nervous energy disappear. One way that usually helps break the ice is through our Spartan to Spartan time. I love being able to collaborate with the other orientation leaders (specifically Jeanne Trang and Jeffrey Tran) in order for our students to hear multiple perspectives about SJSU. Genuine conversations lead to genuine connections. Being able to talk about how my negatives turned into positives seems to help open the door for students to share their insecurities and anxieties about college life.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
Take every moment day by day. Don’t compare your experience based on everyone else’s. These four to five years fly by so fast so make the most of it. Make those initially awkward conversations with your classmates. Join that club even if your friends don’t want to do it with you. Apply for that job even if you don’t think you’re qualified. Fail hard and fail fast but trust the process we call college. You never know what life has in store for you.
What is your favorite SJSU experience?
My favorite experience at SJSU has been being apart of the New Student and Families Program. As cheesy as it sounds, I’ve found a support group like no other through this program. Not only have I grown as a leader but also as a person. This program has given me a new appreciation and a new purpose as an SJSU student. I wouldn’t trade this experience or these memories for the world.
What has been your favorite class?
My favorite class at SJSU has been my MCOM 100W. A lot of students don’t think too highly of their Area Z course, but I loved the open dialogue Professor Dowdy would provide. I was able to write in styles and formats that related to my major. Not being the strongest writer made me feel inadequate to take the class. Over the course of the semester, I saw my writing improve and my confidence in writing grow.