The first thing I heard from college students when I asked for advice was to get involved. When my first semester at CMU started, I made getting involved one of my top priorities. I even decided to quit my job as a barista so I was able to devote more time to my involvements. The way I looked at it was knowing how to make a latte was never going to help me in a career of event management, but rather getting involved as an event coordinator for campus activities will provide me with real world experience and help me develop valuable skills for the future.
A big part of being a leader is being involved. In order to lead others, one must be knowledgeable, experienced, and engaged within their community. By getting involved, I have learned a lot about myself and others, I’ve met numerous people and have been able to network with professionals in the recreation industry, I’ve made friends, I’ve expanded my knowledge about and experience in event management, I’ve helped others in need, and have found my true passions.
CMU LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
The Leadership Institute (LI) is the reason why I am here doing what I’m doing today. I am so thankful I decided to apply for the Leader Advancement Scholarship back when I was a senior in high school and I’m even more thankful that I was accepted into the program. As a leader advancement scholar, I have a specific protocol that pushes me to reach my full potential and develop into a well balanced individual. A part of this protocol is a GPA requirement, leadership focused courses, online portfolio documentation (you’re looking at it!), community service hours, attendance at different leadership workshops, seminars, and lectures, being on a LEAD team, and involvement in an organization. Through the LI I have made so many friends, connections, and mentors. We often refer to the LI as our ‘fam’ because we are all a part of this great community where we’re all learning, growing, and experiencing life together.
I first heard about Program Board from a mentor who has the same major as I do and decided to join. Program Board is a registered student organization that is responsible for the planning and execution of fun and educational programs at CMU, such as concerts, comedians, lectures, and special events. Through PB I am able to volunteer at several different events throughout the year and learn about campus event programming. This year I had the opportunity to attend a conference in Kentucky called NACA with PB’s executive board. Since then I have developed an interest to run for an E-Board position for next year!
ASSOCIATION OF RECREATION AND EVENT PROFESSIONALS (AREP)
AREP was developed for students majoring in Recreation and Event Management. It was designed to provide its members the opportunity to gain firsthand experience in the recreation and event management field and give students the opportunity to network, gain event experience, and have hands on education. So far, it has done just that for me. I have gone on many volunteer trips that not only allow me to provide service at an event but have enabled me to learn more about how events are run while connecting me with professionals in my field of study. AREP also provides opportunities to tour different sites around the Mount Pleasant area such as golf courses, resorts, hotels, etc.
THE OFFICE OF STUDENT ACTIVITIES & INVOLVEMENTS
The SAI office is dedicated to offering different options for students to become involved in, whether it is through a registered student organization on campus, or by attending different events the SAI puts on throughout campus. One event that the SAI manages is Up All Night in which I am a coordinator for. This position is unpaid and serves as a learning opportunity for me. I plan on becoming more involved with SAI’s different planning committees for other events such as Siblings Weekend or Homecoming week.
POLAR PLUNGE FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS MICHIGAN
This organization sparked my interest because I have never heard of people raising money to jump in a freezing cold body of water. I knew immediately that this was something I wanted to be a part of. I signed up to be on the Mount Pleasant Polar Plunge planning committee and started inspiring others to join me in this cause. While plunging might seem terrifying, it creates a great awareness of Special Olympics and its opportunities it provides to its athletes. For every $75 raised, two athletes will be sent to Special Olympics at no cost. CMU has been one of the top universities to fund raise for Special Olympics Michigan and my goal is to continue that legacy, help support this cause and its efforts in giving back to our community, and freeze for a reason!