Midterms are slowly approaching, and we cannot help but reminisce on the warm, carefree days of Frosh. Whether you were a first-year embarking on your university journey, or a frosh leader looking to get involved, we can all agree that Frosh was one heck of a time. To help you trace back to those summer days, Her Campus McGill interviewed Ariane Simondet, Management Frosh’s Director of Inclusivity.
Averie Hah from Her Campus McGill (HC McGill): Hi Ariane! Thanks for taking the time to talk with Her Campus McGill. Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Ariane Simondet (Ariane): Hi everyone! My name is Ariane, a U2 student majoring in Finance. I’m from Texas, and next semester, I’m going on exchange to Dublin, which I’m very excited about.
HC McGill: So I know you like to keep busy and are very involved on campus. Could you tell us about what you do?
Ariane: I was part of the McGill Management Frosh Committee as the Director of Inclusivity, and I’m the Membership Vice President of my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta. I am also the Executive Director of the Fashion Business Uncovered, which is a one-day conference hosted by Desautels for anyone and everyone interested in learning more about the fashion industry.
HC McGill: Today, we want to learn more about your experience during Frosh. Can you tell us more specifically what “Director of Inclusivity” entails?
Ariane: My main goal as the Director of Inclusivity was to ensure that absolutely everyone participating in Frosh — regardless of their age, sex, origin or anything, really — has a memorable, fun, and safe time. As the name entails, it is my job to host events that are both inclusive and enjoyable for all participants whether or not they like to go out or drink. For a long time now, Frosh has been trying to move away from its stereotype, and I, along with my fellow executives, really strive to fulfill Frosh’s original purpose, which is to provide first-year students a safe and fun environment to get to know each other. We want them to get exposed to the McGill culture in a proper way.
HC McGill: I understand there is a ton of work that goes into Frosh. What did your summer look like and what were your responsibilities as the Director of Inclusivity?
Ariane: The Management Frosh Committee held weekly meetings all throughout the summer to delegate tasks, update each other, and follow up. This year specifically, there were weekly meetings for all Directors of Inclusivity across faculties. This allowed us to help each other, share ideas and tips, which essentially made all of our jobs much easier. We got to learn from each other and stick together to plan even more successful Frosh events for all faculties.
HC McGill: What are some other major responsibilities that come with planning Frosh for everyone?
Ariane : The main thing that the Frosh Committee has to do is carefully coordinate and evaluate every single event to make sure it is an exciting and interesting week for every student, while putting their safety before anything else. As the Management Frosh Committee, we also tried to accommodate our students by holding something called the “Management Challenge,” which was a new event for this year’s Frosh. It was a new and successful initiative we came up with, to give students a quick little introduction to life in Bronfman.
HC McGill: What made you want to get involved? How did it all begin?
Ariane: After having such an enjoyable time participating in Frosh in 2014, I knew I wanted to come back as a leader the returning year. Frosh exceeded my expectations once again, because as a frosh leader, you get to see the impact you have on students and help them build their first year at McGill. I want to say that Frosh is one of the most amazing experiences you will have at McGill, and to know that you were responsible for such a thing is an amazing feeling. So after being a leader, I decided I wanted to be more involved behind the scenes and devote my time in creating an even better Frosh for upcoming students.
HC McGill: Looking back on this experience, what would you say were some of the difficulties and challenges that came with planning Frosh?
Ariane: I’d say the main obstacle was everyone’s time constraints and management. The committee has all summer to plan Frosh, but as it gets closer to the actual event, you can’t help but realize that there’s still so much to do. We really have to work together and double or triple check since thousands of students’ first experience at McGill is on our hands. Also, there are day-to-day slips that happen as Frosh actually takes place. But at the end of the day, they’re minor details that happen regardless of all the planning or preparation; and with the help of others, they’re definitely manageable.
HC McGill: After all the hardships, what would you say was the most rewarding experience you’ve had?
Ariane: Watching all participants’ reactions throughout Frosh is in itself a rewarding experience, but I have to say that having a froshie come up to you and thank you is definitely a special experience. We all put in a lot of time and energy, but compared to frosh leaders and orientation staff members, we don’t get as much time to physically be with froshies. So to have them come up to you and appreciate your work is certainly a special thing.
HC McGill: What was the event that you were the most proud of, and what was your favourite event?
Ariane: As I mentioned earlier, the Management Challenge was something new that has never been done before. It took the most amount of work, and we had two amazing people leading that initiative, so I was very proud to see it all come together. On the other hand, I have to say that Beach Day was definitely my favourite event. It lets froshies get out of the “Montreal bubble,” and encourages them to meet other McGillians who aren’t in their faculty.
HC McGill: Frosh is obviously a very popular event, and something that everyone wants to take part in. How might younger students get involved?
Ariane: To start with, any young student should definitely apply to be a leader or o-staff to get a sense of what it is like behind-the-scenes. Once they get their foot in the door and understand the responsibility that comes with Frosh planning, they should apply to be a frosh coordinator (if they are in Montreal for the summer). I would also recommend getting as much experience as possible on campus with any leadership role. Campus Life & Engagement (CL&E) is also a great resource to help you navigate the university and prepare for any leadership roles including Frosh. Personally, I prepared myself by being a frosh leader first. This allowed me to get familiar with dealing with different responsibilities that directly relate to students’ safety. It also helped a lot to research and hear from other students to understand what the position “Director of Inclusivity” entailed, as I was fully aware of what my responsibilities would be before committing to such an important role.
HC McGill: You hold many leadership roles on campus, and you seem to juggle everything flawlessly. Do you have any tips on keeping motivated and managing your time?
Ariane: I’m a person who loves to be busy, but one tip I have is to always manage your time as effectively as possible. It’s all about staying organized, and effectively planning and managing your schedule on top of school work. You do have to make certain sacrifices, and in my case, it’s sleep — I try to wake up early and go to bed late. Sometimes it can get stressful, but in the end, I find every experience to be very rewarding and at the end of the day, it’s what makes me happy.
HC McGill: Any last words regarding Frosh?
Ariane: I just want to tell the readers and fellow McGill students to get involved in Frosh. I think it is one of the best weeks you can have at McGill, and it’s definitely one of the most memorable. So get involved, become a frosh leader, o-staff, and apply to become a coordinator! Regardless of what position you end up with, you will have such a great time working shoulder-to-shoulder with great people who support each other. This year we got lucky because we had a very supportive VP Internal of Management, Ramzi Cotran, and I guarantee that you will also get to meet amazing colleagues. Don’t hesitate and be proud to give back!