In honor of Reunion Weekend Oct. 17-19, we’re spotlighting this year’s affinity receptions, which recognize former Orientation Leader alumni and those who were involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Here, an Orientation Leader alumna shares what the group meant to her. Remember: All alumni are welcome at Reunion Weekend 2014, so register today. Early bird pricing ends Oct. 3!
My experience at DePaul University was—to try and sum it all up in one word—amazing. I learned so much about myself, and by participating in so many extracurricular activities, I found I had a passion for working in student affairs! Thanks to so many wonderful staff mentors, I grew so much as a person, student and professional during my time there. Out of everything I was lucky enough to be a part of at DePaul, hands down my most impactful experience was being an Orientation Leader for two summers.
In 2008 and 2009, I was fortunate enough to be chosen to serve as an OL alongside some of the brightest and kindest students from across the university. Those two summers taught me not only about DePaul and all it offers, but also how to give entertaining tours through Lincoln Park while walking backward, how to interact with stakeholders (parents, academic advisors, etc.), how to execute the best icebreakers (candy is key!), and how wonderful it is to create friendships that will last far beyond those few months.
The moments we spent hanging out in the green room of the MPR, playing cards and pumping each other up at the start of each orientation session, were some of my favorite of each summer. However, so many funny stories came out of the time spent outside of actually working—the hour-long bus ride back from our retreat in Wisconsin that turned into a five-hour trek through flooded highways, numerous late-night trips to the beach that turned into epic dance parties, and even spending a day together at Six Flags! There is something special that happens when you work that closely with people for an entire summer—a bond that can’t really be explained or replicated anywhere else. And I am so thankful I had the opportunity to meet and learn from so many fantastic people!
I cannot say enough wonderful things about my time as an Orientation Leader. I know everyone I worked with those summers would agree that we had the time of our lives. I am so looking forward to reconnecting with all of my orientation friends in Chicago for Reunion Weekend. Hope to see you there!
- Sarah Shields (EDU ’12)
Co-Chair, Orientation Leader Reunion Committee