Meet SJSU’s 2019 Orientation Leaders: CeeJay Fangonilo

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.

CeeJay Fangonilo

CeeJay Fangonilo

CeeJay Fangonilo
Major and expected Graduation date:
Business Administration with a concentration in marketing, Fall 2019

Why did you become an orientation leader?
I decided to become an orientation leader here at SJSU ever since I volunteered to be one at my community college. I wanted to inspire students to really grasp their vision and goals of who they envision themselves to be within their first semester or first year at this institution and what goals they want to accomplish by then. I want to help them feel less anxious about their first day of school, I want them to be more prepared, to encourage them to utilize all their resources offered by SJSU, and to not be afraid of failures and challenges that come along the way in their first year of college. Impacting at least one student in any way during my sessions, will be the thing I’ll be most grateful for in my heart.

What is your favorite part of orientation?
My favorite part of orientation is when I’m able to break through to my students and have them open up more and be more comfortable around me because I feel that once I make that connection with them, they ask me more questions about SJSU, campus life, my own college journey, and so much more. In this way, I know that they’re enjoying their first interaction/experience here at SJSU to make their transition to college easier.

What advice would you give to incoming students?
My number one piece of advice I would offer to incoming students is to get involved on campus in any way, shape, or form. It’s important to do more than just go to class, study, do your homework, and go home. You’ll start to really find SJSU to be your home away from home once you get yourself involved on campus because that’s how you get to really connect and network with other students at your institution. When you’re ready and comfortable, get out of your comfort zone, do something new, and discover something new about yourself! Another important advice is to never forget about your mental health! It’s just as important because if you’re not in the right headspace, things can get difficult and if you ever find yourself in a tough situation, we have resources students can take advantage of in the Wellness Center. Don’t ever invalidate your feelings and just know you’re never alone although that might seem hard to remember when you’re caught up in the moment. 

What is your favorite SJSU experience?
My favorite experience at SJSU so far has to be meeting the people I’ve met through the orientation program, through Greek life, and through the clubs I decided to get myself involved in because they really made my time here at SJSU special and worthwhile. SJSU wasn’t my first choice at all but since I decided to get myself involved, I’ve fallen in love with this institution and I don’t regret my choice of coming here. I’ve grown so much in the short time I was here at SJSU and I’m glad that this orientation program played a really big part in that. Without this opportunity to interact with thousands of students who come from different walks of life with such diverse backgrounds for two summers even with my diverse group of teammates I work with and leading the new orientation leaders my second year, I wouldn’t be the person I’ve become without this program. Much love and support to my orientation family! You’ll always have a special place in my heart.

What has been your favorite class?
My favorite class I’ve taken here at SJSU was probably my social media marketing class (a marketing elective) because it really geared my curiosity to really learn about this topic in the business realm and it made me realize that I want to have my future job involved within social media marketing. My professor even went as far as getting our whole class certified with the Hootsuite program that is a very useful tool in marketing and I’m thankful for that because that puts me one up from others when I apply for jobs and it shows how professors like her really care about their students and their future, wanting them to succeed in life.

Other thoughts on SJSU?
I would also like to add that It’s never too late to get involved! As a transfer here at SJSU, I know we feel older and feel a little bit out of place. Just remember that this is your college experience, so don’t let anything or anyone else’s opinion hold you back from going after what you want! You’re only an undergraduate once, so do all you can, but remember to balance it all out.