Recently, CFS student Mesha Watkins received word that she had been chosen as Team Leader for the New Student Orientation program here on campus. The NSO program aims to help acclimate new UT students to life on campus and Mesha will help lead the team of orientation leaders this year. The application process is competitive and the CFS department is proud of Mesha for taking on this challenge! We interviewed Mesha to learn more about what this experience means to her and how the CFS program is helping her reach her goals. Thanks, Mesha, for representing the CFS department so well!
What prompted you to want to serve as a leader in the orientation program?
During my sophomore year, my time as an Orientation Leader allowed me to expand beyond my comfort zone. I came to UT from a small high school (located in Chattanooga TN) where I’d known almost everyone there; we basically grew up together. So applying for that position was a huge step for me. I’ve never had to open myself up so much to a group of strangers but I knew that it had to be done in order to get the most out of this experience. I met great people, had wonderful experiences, and learned more about myself than I had ever in life. I knew that I didn’t want my experience to end there so applying for the Team Leader position was the way to continue that expansion.
What are you looking forward to in your new role?
I am extremely excited about all aspects of my new role. Of course, I look forward to supporting orientation leaders as they navigate this new experience, but I most look forward to seeing their growth as individuals! It was very exciting to see how we all opened up to one another in such a small amount of time, and now that our time with one another has extended, I know that the growth will be tremendous. I also really look forward to taking on a more behind-the-scenes role. This will greatly strengthen my leadership and not only prepare me for more opportunities in the future but also prepare me for my time as an educator.
How has your time with the CFS program helped you meet your goals?
My time with the CFS program has been amazing! The support I’ve received from professors, mentors, and advisors is like no other. On such a large campus, it’s important to know that you have program staff who are rooting for your individual success as well as the success of the program as a whole. My involvement in this program has forced me out of my comfort zone and into the community; it’s allowed me to look inward at myself and make adjustments where needed in order to continue my work in this program. To anyone considering the CFS program, DO IT! You’ll learn so many great things about your major as well as yourself! You’ll be surrounded by so many amazing people who understand what it takes to be successful and they will stop at nothing to make sure you advance greatly, both on and off campus.