Alayah McIntosh: Welcoming Freshmen to the George Mason Community

Mason Ambassador. Peer Advisor. Patriot Activities Council (PAC) Programmer. Mason Danceworks dancer. Despite only being a freshman, Alayah McIntosh made a choice to give back to the Mason community in various ways to welcome and support prospective and incoming students.

Alayah is majoring in Tourism & Event Management at George Mason University with hopes to be involved in the event planning industry in the near future. She also hopes to make good use of her time here at George Mason to grow as an individual and be involved in the community.

As a Mason Ambassador, Alayah is responsible for giving tours on campus to prospective students and their families throughout the school year, showing them the beauty of different locations on campus and providing them with information about the school. All with the mission to present them with reasons as to why they should #choosemason. Mason Ambassadors at Spring Preview 2019

“I choose to be a Mason Ambassador because I knew I wanted to come to Mason right after my first tour here and I give all the credit to my ambassador that day,” Alayah said, “Everything was against us that day as it was raining, cold and was the last day of our college visit trip and through all of that my ambassador gave an amazing tour and convinced me that Mason was truly for me. This is my way of giving back to the Mason community and to show my appreciation for what the ambassadors do every day! We do not get paid for this position throughout the year so every Mason Ambassador does this out of the kindness of their heart and their love for George Mason University,”

Mason Ambassadors is like a little family. It is not a paid position, everyone in the organization genuinely cares a lot about the school and one another. That was another reason why Alayah loves being a part of the group so much.

Mason Ambassador at Spring Preview 2019

Aside from being a Mason Ambassador, Alayah is currently finishing up her training as a Peer Advisor and is getting ready to co-teach UNIV 100 in the fall semester.

As a Peer Advisor (PA), she will be co-teaching UNIV 100 with a faculty member, facilitating incoming freshmen’s transition from high school to college as well as providing the support and resource they need, serving as a mentor for the students.

She took UNIV 100 during her first semester at Mason and loved her peer advisor. She is also very passionate about working with incoming freshmen and helping them get through their freshman year. All these prompted her to become a PA.

Peer Advisor Retreat at Camp Horizons in April 2019

Throughout her PA training this past semester, she has learned so much about herself and other people. She emphasized that she learned more about herself in the past three months than she has during her time in high school and for that, she is forever grateful.

Having been on the Patriot Activities Council (PAC) street team for a year, she will be moving onto her sophomore year as the Director of Programmer for Special Events and Community Service for PAC to further develop her event planning skills.

She will be planning campus events, including Welcome2Mason (a series of events to welcome incoming freshmen) alongside a team of programmers. Some Welcome2Mason events include Mason Mayhem and IVth Night.

PAC with Queen Naija on Mason Day in April 2019

As an upcoming sophomore finishing up her freshman experience, she has some advice for incoming college students.

“My advice to incoming freshmen is that they should never change themselves just because they feel like they need to for someone. Another piece of advice I have is to listen to upperclassmen and their experiences. Knowing what they went through will help you create your own experiences and get through freshmen year a little easier,”

A great struggle many freshmen, even upperclassmen have in college is time management. With so many commitments outside of classes, Alayah always makes sure she manages her time well.

“I make sure to write everything down in my planner and my phone, so I can double check what I need to do and what assignments I have to turn in. I also make sure I know when I need a break and I will take that break for as long as I need to because if you over stressing yourself, you will not be able to work as productively and effectively as you could,”

With the semester getting closer to the end, Alayah wishes all of her fellow collegiettes good luck in the final stretch!