Kathryn Stroud —
The organization responsible for coordinating summer orientation and Welcome Week is looking for new faces.
The current IC Connections: First-Year Experience, composed of Assistant Dean of Students Karen Homolka and student directors Allie Little ’14, Amy Zahner ’15, and Austin Dormire ’16, is readying itself for the 2014 hiring process. According to Homolka, IC Connections is looking to hire over a dozen Connections Leaders, or CLs. CLs are student leaders who help students with the transition to college.
Most students will remember CLs as the individuals who assisted in their first-year seminar courses or helped them out during summer orientation.
“It’s a great leadership opportunity,” says Zahner. “You’re helping [new students] transition into becoming true members of the IC community.”
Little agrees, and adds that individuals get to learn these experiences in a positive and fun work environment. Little did not have a smooth transition to college and says that she became a CL because she “wanted to be someone who anyone could up to and say ‘I’m having a hard day, help me!’”
“Everyone takes something different out of it,” says Homolka, “But I certainly think it develops leadership skills as far as being confident in leading groups and interacting with people and working on your communication skills . . . It is a lot of those skills that employers are looking for.”
As for the qualifications of a CL, Zahner and Little both say that what the Connections Program looks for is diversity.
“We look for responsible students, but we look for a variety of personality types, to have a diverse group of students so we can be as approachable as possible,” says Little.
“[There aren’t] set guidelines because we’re all individuals and together we make up Illinois College as a whole. [We] shouldn’t have specific guidelines of what we want. [CLs] should be passionate about Illinois College and willing to work with a group of students who could be nervous.”
“We’re all so different. So you become friends with people you would never have had the opportunity to become friends with – like athletes and people who’ve never played a sport, and outgoing people or quieter people. So it’s a lot of fun to get to know everyone and to see how much you have in common and to see how different you are and to learn about other people.”
Individuals interested in applying to be a Connections Leader are required to attend one of the informational meetings – either Monday, March 10 or Tuesday, March 11. Both meetings are at 8:30 p.m. and will be in Kirby 6.