Campus Celebrity: Emma Perona

When it comes to getting involved, very few students go to the lengths of Emma Perona. As a current junior at The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, her presence on campus has definitely not gone unnoticed. From holding a position as the Vice President Public Relations for her sorority Kappa Delta, to her work with IlliniThon to the Fighting Illini Football Team there doesn’t seem to be anything Emma can’t succeed at. Beyond her involvement on campus, her continuously positive attitude alongside her compassion for others make her an extremely valuable member to the campus community. I sat down with Perona to hear about her experience in a variety of organizations on campus, and what helps to keep her motivated.

Her Campus: What organizations are you involved in one campus?

Emma Perona: "On campus, I am vice president of public relations for the National Retail Federation, vice president of public relations for Kappa Delta sorority and marketing director for IlliniThon. I’m also an I-STAR for the Fighting Illini which means I help to promote the university to potential students and during the week I work under a coach and help him with social media and other general office tasks."

HC: What organization has had the biggest influence on you thus far?

EP: "I don't think that just one of these organizations has been my biggest influence, but each one has been a big influence in different ways!

HC: What has your experience with IlliniThon been like?

EP: "I joined IlliniThon my sophomore year on the social media committee and fell in love with how the organization allowed me to contribute to kids who face more obstacles in a day than what most do in a lifetime. I also enjoy the organization because of the members and how passionate they are about being involved and wanting to make a difference. "

HC: How do you stay on top of your school work amidst your involvement outside of the classroom?

EP: "It sounds kind of stupid, but actually paying attention in class has really helped. I think that I used to be so focused on everything else that I had to do that I would just do everything in class, but just taking the hour to pay attention really pays off in the long run."

HC: What helps you stay organized?

EP: "I make a lot of schedules. Every day I map out what I need to get done and what times I have available to do so. The act of writing everything down has helped everything stay fresh in my mind and ensures that everything is accomplished."

HC: What keeps you motived when your involvement on campus, or life in general, feels like too much?

EP: "Just knowing that all the work that I'm putting in will pay off. With Kappa Delta especially, recruitment was such a stressful, busy time but being able to see the end result of the recruitment video and an awesome new pledge class made the hours of work worth it!"

HC: Any advice you would give to fellow students and or underclassman looking to get involved?

EP: "I'd say to just get involved as much as you can in your college years. This is the only time in your life where you can do as much as you want and mess up with little to no consequences. Being able to make mistakes and learn from them has taught me a lot about myself and I hope will prepare me for the real world. Also, get out of your comfort zone, doing something different and be uncomfortable, it again really teaches you a lot about who you are and how you handle different situations. College is about finding yourself and what interests you and the only way to do that is by exposing yourself to as many things as possible."