Mo’ Money, Mo’ Wildcat Connections

21 Jan

During the fall semester, I’d walk around campus and see a lot of timid faces: students who weren’t yet comfortable in their new Wildcat skin, still too afraid to ask questions or take the initiative to go out and try new things. But now, it’s spring 2014, and this is the semester that some of you Wildcats are ready to break out and TURN UP!

You’ve taken the advice of your fellow peers who told you not to get overwhelmed by all of the clubs and organizations on campus in your first semester. Some people may have told you to limit the amount of clubs/orgs you join, while others may have told you to completely forget about getting involved until your second semester. But THIS IS the second semester, and now that you’ve got a handle on college life, you are ready to dive into all of the possible ways to get involved.

I don’t know about you, but I am the type of person who can enjoy money more than social interaction. So, I set my eyes on job opportunities during my second semester at the UA.  That may or may not sound like fun to you, but I was determined to find a way to fit in a little bit of social interaction and a nice-sized check. Luckily, a wonderful job opportunity presented itself: the Orientation and Welcome Leader (OWL) position.

During the semester, I prepared my resume and attended two rounds of interviews: one individual interview, and the other with a group of other OWL hopefuls. I got a callback to be a part of the team for the Summer Orientation Season and I ended up having one of the most rewarding, fun, and exciting summer experiences EVA!

As an Orientation and Welcome Leader, I worked with New Student Orientation…you know, that one day you came to the UA to learn about new student stuff?…

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I got to stand in front of the entire incoming class of freshman and sing “Bear Down,” help students with their schedule –“Changing Schedules, Changing Lives” was our mantra — share with students my experience, and connect them to all the great resources available on campus.

As you can see, everyone on the OWL team had great chemistry and enjoyed working with one another. I even gained two awesome “High-Five Buddies,” who are also my co-workers in Nugent 15D as Student Affairs Outreach Facilitators: Andy and Adilene!

Throughout the summer, I really expanded my network of friends. I also made some key connections to jobs for the academic year. For instance, I found out about becoming an Outreach Facilitator through the professional staff that were apart of Orientation, which is another awesome job on-campus. Oh yeah, I also became semi-famous! Well, not really, but it was good enough for me. After work we got an opportunity to film some promotional video for the University of Arizona; it seemed a little sketch at first, but I went for it anyways. If you keep an eye out for the promo video that plays before Wildcat sports games on TV…I’m the one wearing the grey UA shirt!!!

Overall, I would say that this was my breakout experience. I was no longer uncomfortable in my Wildcat home, I was confident, and most importantly, I was ready to try new things! So whatever it is that you find to get you out of your shell, I hope that you stick with it and BEAR DOWN!

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–Ciara

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