Behind the Scenes: Orientation

Happy End of Orientation Warriors!

We hope you had a spectacular week meeting new people in your faculty, navigating campus, and cramming in as much fun as you can before classes begin.  Everyone involved in it certainly enjoyed every aspect of bringing Orientation to life for you. 

As a member of the Engineering Federation Orientation Committee, Adele is one of the many individuals you might have spotted in her yellow vest, running around and giving speeches with a giant smile and the utmost enthusiasm. Before this event-packed week began, we got the chance to chat with Adele about her experience as a leader, and what it was like to plan and deliver all the energy you witnessed during Orientation. 
Side profile of Adele speaking to students outdoors

What is your role?

Adele: This year, I am one of four members of the Engineering Federation Orientation Committee, otherwise known as the EngFOC. 

How and why did you get involved with Orientation?

A: I’ve been involved with Orientation over my entire time here as a student - from being a front-line leader to this year working as a FOC member. I had a really fabulous time as a first year during Orientation, and being involved with it now gives me the chance to give back.

People always ask if I could go back and change what school I chose or the program I selected and to be quite honest, I wouldn’t. Engineering at UWaterloo has changed my life for the better, and Orientation played a big part in getting me started in making friends with people in the Engineering faculty and in my class.

Tell us about your history of volunteering with Orientation.

Adele speaking to a large group of first-year Engineering students during Orientation Week  A: I’ve been a front line leader as a “Big”, a senior leader twice, and now volunteer as a FOC member. Being a Big is a great experience - you don’t have as much responsibility and you really get the opportunity to connect with the first-year students on a personal level. As a “Huge”, you are one of a few senior leaders in a group of Bigs and first-years, and getting the opportunity to take responsibility and really lead them through the week was incredibly enriching and by far my favourite experience. I’ve done Orientation every year I’ve been at UWaterloo, and each time has been great.

What’s it like being involved with Orientation as an EngFOC?

A: As a FOC member, my primary role is to plan and execute Orientation’s entire set of events with my team of student leaders in Engineering. While this sounds daunting, what I do really ranges from things as mundane as answering emails to figuring out the best way to dye people’s pinkies different colours! It’s been a stressful but hugely rewarding experience to get to “step behind the curtain,” as it were.

Why do you think it’s important to be involved with Orientation?

First-year Engineering student participating in an assembling activity during Orientation week A: There are two main reasons for people to get involved. First, it’s a fun experience! Engineering Orientation specifically has a lot of fun experiences and I’ve had many a leader say that being a leader is almost better than being a first year during Orientation. The other reason is that it is a really rewarding and enriching leadership opportunity!

Any advice for those looking to become more involved with Orientation?

A: Orientation Week is the one week a year where everyone is in the same boat, trying to make friends and get to know one another and the school - some of my best friendships are with people I met through Orientation Week.
Sign up to be a front-line leader! It’s a great way to experience Orientation from the other side without too much responsibility. You get to mentor first-year students, enjoy Orientation activities knowing more about campus, and make friends with other upper-year students who you may not meet otherwise!
Want to get more involved?  Learn more about Orientation or check out the photos and video from #UWOW17 on the Waterloo Orientation Facebook page
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