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 alumnus shares what the group meant to him. Remember: All alumni are welcome at Reunion Weekend 2014, so register today. Registration ends Oct. 10!
In the summer of 1999, I remember being extremely nervous about attending college, as it was a massive transition in my life. Premiere DePaul changed that! The mentors were energetic, my group was friendly and I became comfortable with the campus. Plus, my eyes were opened to diversity through the Mile Walkers theatre troupe and I was able to experience dorm-life for the first time. When the orientation program was over, I couldn’t wait to go back and begin my freshman year at DePaul.
Two years later, I became a mentor through the Orientation Leader program. I learned to work as part of the incredible team that was our 2001 Premiere DePaul staff. We bonded during the 70-hours-per-week training period (and over countless icebreakers!). Then, while in the process of leading multiple orientation sessions every week, we picked each other up when our energy levels were running on fumes. I have plenty of fond memories with the 2001 Premiere staff both inside and outside of the orientation sessions.
My summer as an Orientation Leader was the first time that I truly felt I could succeed as an educator. I knew that I had the work ethic and organizational skills but was worried that my introverted personality would prevent me from being an effective educator. Facilitating discussions, performing in skits, and guiding tours of the campus helped to break me out of my shell and give me confidence to lead. I also became familiar with the rewarding feeling of seeing my orientation group members excited about becoming a Blue Demon (just like I felt in 1999). This is the same rewarding feeling I get when students make a breakthrough or tell me that they have been accepted into college.
I hope to see everybody at Reunion Weekend and the Orientation Leader reunion on Saturday, Oct. 18. I am looking forward to sharing stories with mentors from many different eras, and reconnecting with the 2001 Premiere staff.
– Matt Horvath (EDU ’03)
Co-Chair, Orientation Leader Reunion Committee