This year, I am very thankful for not only my friends and family, but I am especially thankful for all the opportunities that I am blessed with here at main campus. I’m talking about being selected to be a part of the UCF’s O-Team 2013! O-Team (orientation team) is a highly prestigious leadership opportunity where approximately 30 students are chosen to run the freshman and transfer student orientation program during the summer and fall semesters. Basically, we’re the face of UCF.
The application process is a very tough and rigorous one and definitely not one for the faint-hearted! If you’re serious about O-Team, it will definitely cause a lot of anxiety and nervousness! The first part of the application process is applying of course. Then you have to sign up for an interview date. There are two rounds of interviews. The first round of interviews is a group interview. No, it is not you against a panel of interviewers, but all the people applying put into groups to see how well they worked with teams.
This is where I failed the first time. I remember going into my group interview for the first time I applied and I knew I completely bombed it. How? Well I went in there not knowing what I was getting myself into and then I just went along with the rest of the group and by that I mean I was super (for the lack of a better word) fake. Basically, I wasn’t myself and I tried impressing the judges by being super preppy and happy. Of course the judges could see right past me and knew that I was not being myself. Don’t get me wrong, I am a very happy person, but not the Disney happy type haha!
Then a week later, they post a piece of paper with shortlist of all the people that made it to the next round. The first time I applied, I was devastated to see that my name was not on the list and I did not make it to the next round. I then asked for feedback from the O-Team staff to tell me what I could do to better myself. They told me that I actually did great…but they were in the middle of the fence with me because they wanted to see more of me. They liked that I had original ideas to share, but I was a little too subdued.
So I came up with a little outline plan for myself to improve on over the course of the year so that I’ll be ready for the following year. I worked on communicating more and really having that presence. Then came fall 2012, I breezed through that O-Team application and I got ready for my O-Team interview.
When I got to the O-Team interview, I immediately stepped out of my comfort zone and lunged myself towards a group of people and began to introduce myself. After all, we’re all new and chances are, we all don’t know each other! Then we finally got to the actual group interview. I’m not going to say what we did as to not spoil the fun for anyone interested in applying to be an O-Teamer out there! But I can say that it is definitely fun once you relax. My biggest advice is just to be yourself and have fun. Don’t think too much and don’t get intimated by the judges or your fellow group members. After all, they want to see you and how you work with groups. And there’s no one type they look for. O-Team is very very diverse!
The following day, they revealed the people that got into the short list and I MADE IT!! I was so happy, but I knew that this was only half of the battle! After that, I had to sign up for two more interviews. The first interview was by the student orientation coordinators (SOCs) and they are the last year’s O-Teamers who will oversee the next year’s O-Teamers. The last interview is with a panel of the professional staff who work in the Office of First Year Experience. They are our bosses.
I looked at my resume and saw all the accomplishments I made in just the past year and that made my proud of myself. I’m a resident assistant for UCF Housing, I’m an Undergraduate Admissions Ambassador and so I can do this! Then came my interview. Usually, I get really nervous, but this is my second year and I knew I had to do great! During my SOC interview, I was asked things on my resume and about me and how I would I handle various situations. I think I nailed it, except for that one time I completely blanked out when I was asked about my weakness in communication.
For my professional staff interview, I think I did a fantastic job too! I remember sitting down and one of the interviewers asked me how I was and I said “tired.” Mind you, I walked all the way to Howard Phillips Hall from the Towers. I was somewhat sweaty and definitely tired! At least I was honest! I also had a platform that I stuck to and I knew I nailed it on the head. I wanted my interviewers to know just how much passion I had for UCF because of my experiences and that’s why I want to be an O-Teamer to get the incoming students pumped up for UCF! I am truly in love with UCF! I mean I never would have imagined myself where I am today or the fact that I was in a cooking show that featured UCF, or a fashion show or various behind the scenes hospitality company trips around Orlando and all the other amazing opportunities I got here at UCF! I wanted my interviewers to know my love and enthusiasm for UCF and I made sure they did!
The reason why I titled this blog Operation Honey Badger was because I called my journey to getting into O-Team, operation honey badger! Honey badgers are the underdogs and they don’t care what anyone says, they will do whatever to achieve their goals! (Somewhere along those lines haha) And that’s exactly what I did! I didn’t make it the first time, but I came back stronger than ever! As the saying goes, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!” Never give up on your goals and dreams because if you put your mind and heart into it, the sky is the limit!
And here I am now, one of the official thirty something selected individuals chosen to be in UCF’s 2013 Orientation Team! I am truly thankful and excited for what’s to come!