The University of Memphis’s Admissions Office is preparing to select the 2020 orientation guide team with applications due Oct. 31. Orientation Guide Coordinators, Haeleah Lester and Jasmine Harrington, use interest meetings to inform students on the benefits of being in a student leadership position.

Orientation guides are the first faces that new students and parents see when they come to the University of Memphis. This leadership position is selective and requires a lot out of each guide.

OGs are required to live in the LLC residence hall during the summer, expected to be at every session on time, and they need to be familiar with each department and organization on campus--and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Caleb Carey, a freshman business economics major from Jackson, Tennessee, explained that he was overwhelmed by the requirements because he did not realize how much went on behind the scenes.

“Even though the session was overwhelming, I am still excited because I feel like it will be an amazing experience,” Carey said.

2019 orientation guides said that they have benefited from the experience.

“I saw myself grow so much in such a short amount of time,” said Caroline Frazier, a 2019 orientation guide from Collierville, Tennessee  I struggle with social anxiety and it has always held me back, and because of orientation I can now confidently go interact with people without being scared.”

Connor Bankey, another 2019 orientation guide, also grew from the experience.

“I didn’t apply for OG for the clout,” Bankey said, “I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. The orientation experience really helped me come out of my shell. Throughout high school and my freshman year of college, I was very nervous about meeting people. Orientation made me finally feel comfortable being myself around other people. What I learned from orientation is that to grow you need to put yourself in unfamiliar situations.”

Despite popular belief, not all orientation guides are loud extroverts. Lester and Harrington are looking for a diverse team that can impact students from all walks of life.

“We want a team that doesn’t look, act, or think the same way,” Harrington said. “How could we reach new students if all the OGs were carbon copies of each other? That’s so boring.”

Lester concluded the presentation by describing her own experience at orientation. OG19 consists of her best friends, future bridesmaids, and people who push her to be a better version of herself.

“I cannot wait to see a group of strangers become best friends,” Bankey said, “Orientation is the greatest experience that someone can have on this campus and I can not wait to see OG20 grow into amazing leaders.”

If you are interested in participating in a life-changing summer, there will be an interest session on Oct. 29 at 12 p.m. in the University Center Poplar Room.

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