Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Life as the New Kid: My First Month as an #SApro!

I can't believe I've already been at Mount Holyoke for a month. It still seems like I'm stumbling through the daily functions of my job and the students haven't even arrived yet! I know it's all part of the transition process, though, and soon I'll start to really get the hang of everything. I know I haven't really been writing about my experience at MHC so far, and that's because I really wanted to get settled and acclimated before sharing anything. Now that a month's gone by, I feel like I have a few things to talk about!

You know your institution is legit when it has its own Snapchat filter. :P

For those that may be confused on exactly what my job is, my official title is Student Event and Special Programs Coordinator, meaning I get the awesome task of working with all of our 130ish student organizations on campus and helping them along the event planning process. I'm also responsible for some of our office's signature events such as No Study Zone and Pangy Day, as well as hopping in on various campus-wide programming like New Student Orientation, January Intersession programming, and student leader socials. Basically, I'm going to have a hand in almost every student event on campus that isn't sponsored by athletics or an academic department - pretty crazy!

My very minimally decorated space. I left lots of room for new memories! 
(And yes, I have two computers. #commandcenter)

I had my first official day on July 7th, and was welcomed by my supervisor and colleague, Kris and Erin, with flowers and cider donuts - a staple out here in Western Mass. My first week was a whole 'lotta not knowing what I'm doing, which is always frustrating when you're coming from an institution you felt you knew like the back of your hand. However, my colleagues made me feel very welcome and right at home in my new space. They had even ordered me a great new desk (put together by Erin and her husband - thanks, guys!) and set up a beautiful iMac for me! (I'm usually a PC gal, but if I have to use a Mac, I'd rather use an iMac!) We also got the chance to celebrate Jaime's (another one of my colleagues in Student Programs) birthday that week by going out for sushi & ice cream. Any staff that's a fan of sushi and ice cream I know I'm going to fit just fine into. ;)

The following week, Erin invited me to join her and some of her friends in Harry Potter trivia at this local bar called The Quarters (packed to the brim with old arcade games - so cool!), and of course I had to say yes! We were team Snapes on a Plane (genius) and though we didn't place, we didn't do too shabby for the kind of questions that they were asking! Props to Erin and her husband Cullen, though - they dominate me in the HP knowledge department. It's great to be a part of a staff that also wants to make an effort to do some outside staff bonding, especially when I'm still getting to know everyone!*

Some of the major projects I'm working on right now are bus trips for the fall, a movie musical series, an after-dark festival called NightFest (which I've been booking food trucks for which I think is just about the most exciting thing ever!), and social events for fall orientation. Erin and I have also taken it upon ourselves to revitalize our office's social media (We call ourselves the Brain Trust... #weloveScrubs), so if you'd like to follow us we're on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! I always love having the opportunity to work with social media in my day-to-day life, so I'm very excited that we've started on this project together.

Things are a bit on the slow side right now (as they usually are throughout the summer) but they are absolutely going to start ramping up soon. Our Orientation Student Staff will start arriving back to campus on the 25th, the new international students arrive on the 31st, all new students will arrive on September 2nd, and all returning students will arrive on September 6th! That's less than a month away... YIKES! I'm very excited for what's in store for me this year, though, and I'm so happy I get to be part of such a wonderful staff throughout my first year as an #SApro! :)

*The one other staff member in Student Programs that I haven't mentioned yet is Tim, and that's because he's been mostly out of the office on vacation since I've started, but we're going to work very closely together in our roles, so I'm sure he'll be popping up in my work stories quite often in the future!

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