Internship Series: BU Orientation

Sarah Bickford

CAS’19 | Psychology

Student Advisor

CCD: Tell us about your work experience. What were your responsibilities?

SB: This summer, I worked for BU Orientation as a Student Advisor. I was responsible for working the three-day orientation session and aiding with a variety of student-related activities and programs. Such responsibilities included checking students in, providing directions, seating students, crowd control, working with families, and facilitating student activities. Often, this would require a fair amount of problem-solving, and knowing which resources could apply to each situation. Additionally, we worked with three different groups of students in each session, and we worked to bond these students with ourselves and each other by facilitating a variety of activities and conversations. One of these groups we guided to a location of their choice in Boston for City Excursions, one group of students (around 30) into Boston on the Common Ground program, and finally we advised another group of students on academics and help them pick and register for classes. Student Advisors were responsible for the well-being of the students, talking to them throughout the week so that they feel safe and welcome and encouraging bonding between students. We also helped with Matriculation, and the Student Advisors for the College of Arts and Sciences worked at the first year welcome party. Additionally, in CAS, we maintain contact with our students throughout the semester, texting them periodically to remind them of events, deadlines and programs.

CCD: How did you get the position? What resources at BU or elsewhere did you use?

SB: I had several friends who had worked as Student Advisors or other summer staff positions and they encouraged me to apply. I used resources at the Center for Career Development to improve my resume and cover letter.

CCD: What is one challenge that you encountered during your summer experience and how did you manage it?

SB: One challenge that I encountered was being prepared to answer student questions that I felt clueless about. My solution was to make sure that I knew at least one person or resource that I could point people to when I did not know an answer.

CCD: What was the best thing about the experience? What was the worst?

SB: The best thing about the experience was how much I learned. I felt that I was able to really grow more confident in my skill set while also meeting a lot of really amazing people.

The worst part of the experience was how exhausted I was on Fridays after working nearly 40 hours in three days.

CCD: What was the most memorable moment of your experience?

SB: The most memorable moment of my experience was on Matriculation day, seeing my students from the summer return to campus as full-time students.

CCD: What advice would you give to another student about making the most of an internship or job experience?

SB: My advice would be to meet as many people as possible, because you never know who could be a future connection.

Additionally, I would advise not to get too caught up in how a job might look on a resume, because you can learn a lot of relevant skills (especially interpersonal skills) even if you are doing a job outside of your desired field.

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