Orientation. The one word that immediately brings back memories to every Saint Joe’s student. Whether that memory is the BLD or cheering as a class for the first time on top of the Rocky steps; juniors Emily Shields and Maria Calabrese, have the task of making sure those memories bring a smile to your face. As the coordinators for the class of 2021 I wanted to get some insight on how one even begins to plan Saint Joseph’s orientation.
As coordinators, what are the responsibilities you hold?
Maria: “We as coordinators are responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly over all. We are in charge of picking the team, pairing up the partners and choosing the colors.”
Emily: “We basically do all the behind the scenes work to make sure everyone gets the end result we are working towards.”
What’s your favorite thing about being a coordinator?
Maria: “The energy that everyone brings and the reaction people have when someone thinks of a new idea.”
Emily: “Seeing the team come together and how far we’ve come is amazing. It’s gone by so quickly. Working with all the different people, like the 4 captains and all the outside help is an awesome experience.”
Does the interview process change every year or does it stay the same for the most part?
Emily: “There are 4 different rounds and the format is there but we adapt it to what we want to see. The 1st round is just getting to know the candidates. The 2nd round are situational questions, the 3rd round seeing how people work together as a team and the 4th round is a presentation selling themselves to us.”
Maria went off of what Emily said by adding, “So we use questions past coordinators passed down and we also add our own. So for example, this year we added a game where everyone is wearing robes and you call out a shape and as a team you have to make that shape”.
What 4 words would you use to describe orientation?
Emily: “Weird times lasting memories” She explains how “nobody actually understand what’s happening during orientation but the memories are made”.
Maria: “The start of something new; before orientation nobody is ready to move in but after you’re excited for your new life.”
And finally I had to ask about how they keep up their pep for all those sessions in a row?
Maria: “We run on pure adrenaline during orientation. Most nights we go to bed around 12 am and get up at 5am. It’s amazing how then, it was so easy to do and now getting up for classes is the hardest thing ever!”
Emily: “It gets difficult sometimes. Everyone kind of hits a wall usually around 3rd session and each session after mass before walking to the train station. During mass there’s time to relax and take a breath but right after the energy has to bounce back and you’re on your game again.”
Looking back on orientation I couldn’t imagine having to be responsible for the first impression every new student has of SJU. Emily and Maria have quite the task but I have no doubt in my mind that they’re the right girls for the job of welcoming the class of 2021 to Hawk Hill.