Throughout my university career I have had many opportunities to get involved. The most important extracurricular activities I have been involved with have been with Orientation Week.
During my first year of university, the best week of my life, at least at that moment, was my orientation week here at the University of Waterloo. I felt so welcomed and integrated into the university after such a short period of time that I felt obliged to give back and make sure that future students felt the same way.
· St Paul’s Orientation Week Team Leader
· Art’s Orientation Week Technical Crew
· Accounting Orientation Week Leader
Awards: Super Frosh Leader for Accounting Orientation
Being an orientation leader, was my first true leadership experience. The most important skills that I learned were teamwork and problem solving.
Teamwork was important as I was working with several student leaders. Each of us had strengths and weaknesses but together, we were able to form cohesive teams that encouraged first year students to meet and interact with one another. This is when I first realized the importance of the team relationships. If you do not get to know your team, they will not be willing to go above and beyond their role. As well, at the end of the day, when the task is done, the only thing that is left is the bond you have with your teammates. These experiences greatly improved my understanding of how to form a great team.
Problem-solving is a very important life skill. During St Paul’s orientation week, I was walking my team towards an event but I noticed that it was not set up. Instead of panicking, I quickly told my team members to find the coordinator of the event while I ran an activity that required no equipment and minimal preparation time. This led to a smooth transition and the event was setup. This experience allowed me to understand that you must not only deal with the short-run issues (i.e. running an ice breaker) but also address the real underlying problem (i.e. send someone to get the event coordinator).
· Art’s Orientation Team Leader
· Accounting Orientation Committee Co-chair
2008 was a very important year in my development as a leader. Accounting Orientation was the biggest challenge I had faced at that point in time. These two roles demonstrated the importance of leadership.
Leadership is one of the most highly observed and least understood phenomenon in the world. My definition of leadership is being able to take your team to another level. In cliché terms, the team is greater than the sum of its parts. During Accounting Orientation, I had to work with and lead a team of 7 other committee members and instruct and empower a group of over 60 orientation leaders. I was met with challenges such as being able to motivate everyone and making sure that the right information was being communicated. How I was able to resolve these issues were by getting feedback and ideas from the leaders so that they were involved in the process of planning and felt more motivated to participate to their fullest.
· Arts Federation Orientation Committee
· Accounting Orientation Week Leader
Awards: “Coal to Diamond Award – Great under Pressure” Award
2009 is when realized my true potential. Faced with my largest task yet; planning an orientation week for 1200 highly diverse first year students. This is the year I learned to be a leader.
Leadership is an ongoing process where you continually learn and unlearn theories about your own leadership. In 2009, I learned that passion is contagious and that the greatest kind of motivation is intrinsic. I had 4 coordinators who helped me plan various events to train the over 200 arts orientation leaders and help me run administrative tasks. The first tasks I did with my coordinator was getting them to answer two questions: what do you want to achieve from this position and how can I help you achieve that? By asking these questions, I was able to understand why they wanted to be heavily involved in the orientation process and how I could give them responsibilities that would naturally interest them. This resulted in the most highly self-motivated volunteers and it followed with tremendous results.
My other leadership and extracurricular roles include:
· Peer Leader – First year and upper year students
· Residence Life Don – First year and upper year students
· Teaching assistant
· Research assistant
· Tutor Centre Manager
· Workshop leader facilitator
· Nomination committee for picking Director of School of Accounting and Finance and Extraordinary Teaching Assistant of the Year
· Student Panel
· Student Life 101 Director
· Student Life 101 Volunteer
· School of Accounting and Finance Student Ambassador
· Accounting Students Association Director – Working Paper