Why You Should Apply to be an Orientation Leader as Told By 2019 Administrative Orientation Leader Maeve Hegarty

Photo courtesy of the Emmanuel College Orientation Instagram page.

If you look back on your first experiences at Emmanuel, Orientation Leaders are probably the some of the first people that come to mind when you remember your first interactions with this campus. They are knowledgeable, welcoming, and oh so energetic! Maeve Hegarty (2020), who has been an Orientation Leader the past two years and will be an Administrative Orientation Leader this upcoming year, is no exception to this description. As a Biology major with a concentration in Health Sciences, the President of Film and Book Club and a front desk assistant in Loretto Hall, it is clear to anyone who comes in contact with her that she is well-established, an amazing addition to this community, and a friendly face to all who she encounters. Because being an OL has been such a valuable experience for her, Maeve wants other students to look into applying as well and wants to share how much it has supplemented her time here at Emmanuel. Here are 10 reasons why Maeve thinks YOU should apply to be an Orientation Leader.

Maeve (center) posing with other OLs. Photo courtesy of the Emmanuel College Orientation Instagram page.

Reason #1: You will get to be the first to meet and connect with the first year students!

Maeve’s first reason to apply to be an Orientation Leader is possibly one of the most beneficial parts of the job! Almost every undergraduate at Emmanuel is around 4 years apart tops in age, which means that if you have this job you not only get to be one of the first mentors first years encounter, it also means you will get a first impression of people who could one day be your future classmates, neighbors, coworkers and fellow club members before all other upperclassmen have even crossed paths with them! And while you do have to maintain a level of professionalism with new students as an OL to some extent, you never know what incoming freshmen could end up becoming your new friends!

Reason #2: You will not only become a better leader, but will also improve your networking skills!

We are fortunate at Emmanuel to have a tight knit community of ambitious people who hold prestigious leadership roles and internships both on campus and throughout Boston, and when it comes to student leaders with a lot going for them, Orientation Leaders are the best of the best! Many OLs have gone on to join the executive boards of other organizations on campus, become employees and shift leaders for many on-campus jobs, have been accepted into service groups such as Alternative Spring Break and the 1804 Society, and hold internships in a variety of fields throughout Boston. If you spend a summer working alongside other OLs with these experiences, they can serve as great mentors, letter of recommendation writers, and just peers in general that can help you find your direction both on this campus and beyond!

Reason #3: You'll be able to talk to and keep a conversation with literally anyone

Whether you are naturally outgoing or consider yourself to be more reserved, Maeve is totally right! This is an opportunity that takes you out of your comfort zone and puts you in situations where you have to hold conversations with students, your fellow OLs and faculty members! The skills you will learn from getting to interact with this variety of people will become conversational skills you can use the rest of your life.

Reason #4: You'll make amazing and long lasting connections with staff and faculty

Conversational skills are not the only thing you will gain from developing a closer bond with the EC community! This job requires you to know all of the ins and outs of Emmanuel, meaning you will get to meet with and learn about all of the different departments that keep this college running smoothly. This allows you to get to know a lot of staff and faculty members you would not know otherwise, which is a great opportunity both to meet new people and to network with a wide variety of professionals.

An introduction Instagram post of the 2018 Orientation Team. Photo courtesy of the Emmanuel College Orientation Instagram page.

Reason #5: You get to meet SO many new people

As mentioned previously, this job exposes you to so many people you would not cross paths with otherwise. You will get to meet people with a variety of hobbies, perspectives and experiences different from your own, and in many cases you will find yourself making some unlikely friendships.

Reason #6: You get to experience the incredible feeling of seeing your first year students do great things once they start at Emmanuel in the fall

Emmanuel is a school that encourages involvement, and it is so exciting to watch the nervous new students you lead at orientation find their place on campus. Whether they are tearing up the soccer field, are the shining star of their acapella group, or one day become Orientation Leaders themselves, Maeve is right, it’s totally rewarding to watch first years spread their wings and fly!

Reason #7: You will learn all of the in's and out's of every office on campus

As an Orientation Leader, you have to be able to answer any question about Emmanuel that your students may have. Although this appears like something that will only benefit your students, you will soon come to find that this information will help you a lot with whatever you are doing on campus and your friends will know to come to you when they have any questions about resources on campus.

Reason #8: You'll understand how it feels to be exhausted but still loving every minute of the experience

Just like a good workout or a day spent doing what you love, you will feel tired at the end of Orientations, but it will be so rewarding and fun that it will be a content kind of tired, rather than the painful kind you experience after a long day of class.

Orientation Leaders  having a blast while working! Photo courtesy of the Emmanuel College Orientation Instagram page.

Reason #9: You'll get to dance and yell your heart out without the fear of judgement (maybe even as Halo)

The job of an OL is to be comfortable with letting loose and not caring if you look silly as a way to make new students feel more at ease. Often this involves some dancing. Fortunately this doesn’t require you to be good at dancing, in fact sometimes it’s more fun if you aren’t, and you can smile knowing that you letting out your goofy side is making new students feel comfortable at their new home. And who doesn’t want to be the school mascot for a couple hours?

Maeve (right) posing with Halo and another OL. Photo courtesy of the Emmanuel College Orientation Instagram page.

Reason #10: You'll open your heart and mind to so many different types of people and help them feel comfortable in their new home

If you haven’t realized this yet, this role is a wonderful opportunity that allows you to get to meet people from every corner of the Emmanuel College community. Whether the interactions you have with students are a lifelong friendship or a few passing words, Maeve is totally right: the encounters you have with the people who come along on their journey with you, whether they are new students, your fellow OLs or staff members, will teach you a lot and have a lasting impact on your life.

Photo courtesy of the Emmanuel College Orientation Instagram page.

Whether you went to one of the (mandatory) information sessions this past week and are considering applying this year, or becoming an Orientation Leader is on your radar as a goal in later years for you here, this is one of the most prestigious and rewarding opportunities on Emmanuel’s campus. I hope that you enjoyed Maeve’s reasons to apply for this role based on her experiences, and I appreciate her help on putting together this piece. Happy OL application szn and remember to apply by 4 pm October 30th if you are interested this year!