Many of you have either seen or heard about Urielle Laurent by now and if you haven’t, this is a perfect way to get to know her. Urielle is a person who strives to be extremely involved and connected on campus. With her bubbly and warm personality, there’s no question about how she’s able to do it all. While talking to Urielle, I was able to learn about how she stays so involved on campus and how upcoming and current Florida State students can do so as well.
Her Campus (HC): Tell me a little about yourself.
Urielle Laurent (UL): My name is Urielle Laurent. I am a sophomore majoring in Finance from Tampa, FL, and my hobbies include hanging out with friends, finding new music and watching basketball and soccer (shoutouts to Manchester City)!
HC: What organizations are you currently a part of?
UL: Currently, I am involved in the FSU chapter of NAACP as the Treasurer, the FSU Student Foundation as the Chair, Power of WE as a member of the programming committee, the FSU Student Alumni Association as an ambassador and Relay for Life as the campus connections chair.
HC: What motivated you to apply to these organizations?
UL: Early on I understood that Florida State will present challenges and opportunities for personal growth and that it’s equally important for us as students to challenge the institution in order to propel it forward. By working together and being authentic in our efforts in order to create meaningful change. I felt compelled to take an active role in shaping the future of our university. So, I sought out organizations that aligned with my values and goals. It was a way for me to not only make a difference but also to connect with like-minded individuals who shared my passion for making a positive impact.
HC: How do you think these clubs/organizations shaped you as a person?
UL: Every organization I’ve ever joined has taught me something new in the process, but the first two, Relay and NAACP, have had the biggest impact. Relay showed me the importance of rigorous programming for successful event planning and execution at FSU. Learning fundamental programming skills is essential for any student leader aspiring to achieve basic structure and smoother processes in their org. Additionally, joining the NAACP helped me break out of my shell and understand the meaning of true activism. Being surrounded by some of the best black student leaders on campus has made the organization a safe haven and a second home for me.
HC: How do you balance your academics while being so involved on campus?
UL: Being a part of the CARE program is something I will be eternally grateful for. Ms. Toni, my CARE life coach, is someone I adore and thank God for every day. She has played an instrumental role in my college career thus far, from ensuring that I am keeping up with everything, to assisting me in adulting and answering all my many questions.
HC: You are the first black woman to be on the student foundation executive chair. How does it make you feel to essentially make history?
UL: It feels amazing; I don’t generally think about it much; I’m simply glad to be here! I’m just thankful for all the black women who have paved the way for me and made it 10 times easier by becoming my mentors and guiding me; it makes me so grateful and more than pleased to pass it on. I encourage everyone to consider paying it forward and becoming a mentor if they haven’t already.
HC: What advice would you give someone that’s trying to become involved on campus?
UL: If you’re having trouble finding the best organizations for you, try to find ones that meet these three criteria: first, one that gives back in some way, like through service entailed; second, one that is career-focused or provides professional development opportunities; and lastly, something fun that takes you out of your comfort zone and helps you meet new people.
HC: In light of women’s history month, what is some inspiring advice you would give women to be in leadership positions?
UL: My advice is based on two quotes that have helped me survive from leaders that inspired me. The first one is “pivot or perish,” which highlights the importance of adapting and persevering through life’s challenges. Regardless of how big or small the change may be, it’s essential to keep pushing forward.
The second quote is “experience builds perspective.” I challenge anyone reading this to explore all that FSU has to offer, from participating in IM sports to attending student agency meetings and international coffee hours at the Globe. It’s through these experiences that we gain new perspectives and learn valuable life lessons. Try to embrace every opportunity and make the most of your time at FSU.
HC: Is there anything else you would like to share?
UL: Imposter syndrome is very real! Most student leaders have felt it, especially the higher in leadership you go. Therefore, my suggestion is to lean on your strength/what has brought you to this point; everyone is unique, so be authentic and lead with a compassionate heart. Finally, remember to extend grace to yourself and others.
After this interview with Urielle, I am extremely inspired and motivated to continue to be involved a make a change here on campus. And after reading this article I hope you all are too! It is important to go after things that you are passionate about and take that leap of faith to be in these positions. Whether you are looking for organizations to help you grow personally, academically or professionally, the benefits of being a part of one are tremendous.