Past Orientation Leaders

Throughout the years, many WVU students have chosen to work with New Student Orientation. These students played an extremely valuable role in welcoming new students to campus and were able to gain experience that helped them, not only at WVU but in their future careers. Here is what some of them had to say about their experiences with New Student Orientation!

Kevin Berry
Orientation Leader 1992 & 1993
Associate Director & Chief Operating Officer, WVU Alumni Association

Working orientation was one of the most valuable personal and professional experiences of my life. It helped prepare me for a career in education administration. By observing and working closely with Susan, Corey and Bill, I learned a great deal about how to operate a program with institution-wide impact. I also made life-long friends and worked with another orientation student leader who later became my wife.

Katie Utterback
Orientation Leader 1997
Parent Advocate in the Office of the President, WVU

I can truly say that my experience and the skills I learned working NSO directly affected and can be attributed to my career path to date and decision to go into the field of higher education. The exposure to opportunities and networking options with faculty, staff, and administrators across that you will have at your finger tips is priceless!

L. Amber Brugnoli, Capt, USAF
Orientation Student Employee 1998-2004
Member of the U.S. Air Force JAG Corps-Served in Japan and Iraq

I truly credit most of my success at WVU with my years at Orientation. Learning about the University and networking with individuals from all aspects of the campus helped to build relationships that benefited me throughout college and continue to serve me today. It opened up doors for me in Student Government, and numerous other leadership roles. I can honestly say I was familiar with every high-ranking administrator, a vast majority or professors, advisors, and staff, and met more students than I could ever hope to count. Additionally, being required to constantly problem-solve and think on your feet enables you to more easily tackle large problems in the workplace. You become more comfortable in front of large groups, gain valuable leadership and mentoring experience at a young age, learn to view a problem from all sides, and develop amazing decision-making and multi-tasking skills.
More than ten years after my first summer working for the program, I still occasionally run into someone who says I was their tour guide, or helped them select classes. A few over the years have even said it was because of me that they selected to attend WVU, whether it was because of the help I gave them, or the fact I took an interest in them. To have that kind of impact on a person’s life is truly incredible.

Mike Tedesco
Orientation Leader1999-2001
Sr. Product Selection Analyst for Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Morgantown WV

I was named “Student Assistant of the Year” for the summer of 1999. It was a great opportunity to make life long friends and provided a great networking opportunity as well. Being an OL fine tuned my public speaking skills, and tested my leadership abilities, which all translated into valuable asset when I entered corporate America.
My advice to a prospective worker would be to take advantage of this opportunity and extract as much practical value as you can while enjoying the time you get to spend with the friends you make throughout this process. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Meghan Elkins
Orientation Leader 2003-2006
3rd year optometry student at Southern College of Optometry

Working for New Student Orientation was absolutely one of my most favorite memories of my time at WVU. I always felt like I could make a positive first experience for an incoming student, so it was never hard to get motivated for my job. Of course, there were a lot of long days and some long nights, but being a part of a group of passionate Mountaineers and guiding the experience of new students and families was worth it!
Even today, three years out of school and living 600 miles away, I still get recognized as an Orientation Leader. My four summers with Orientation helped solidify my love for West Virginia University and for the state of West Virginia; I now get so excited when it is time for those country roads to take me home. Being an Orientation Leader is probably one of the best opportunities available to WVU students.

Jessica Poe
Orientation Leader 2006
1st year Audiology Doctoral Student and Graduate Assistant at WVU

My favorite part about working as an orientation leader was meeting all kinds of different people! I got to know several of the WVU faculty members and also TONS of new students who still recognize me to this day when they see me on campus. I would tell a prospective orientation leader to definitely spend one of their summers working this job because they will not regret it!

Marc Preston
Orientation Leader 2007
Senior at WVU

My time spent with New Student Orientation was a great one. I had the opportunity to work with, and for, a great bunch of people, and I still consider all of them my friends. There was no feeling of being left out because we all had so much in common and bonded so well that it felt like we had known each other for a very long time. The time I spent with NSO has definitely been an experience that I will never forget and one that has also helped me gain experience for the real world.
My advice to give a future NSO worker would be to dive into the job head on. Don’t take a back seat. Don’t be afraid to do something just because you aren’t sure if you can do it. By doing this, those long summer days will go by very quickly. I know they did for me.

Marie Rafa
Orientation Leader 2007-Present
Graduate student in Higher Education Administration and Orientation Graduate Assistant

I loved this job, and yes people thought I was crazy everyday for being so cheerful so early. It was the same routine every day but with a different set of people, problems, challenges, and stories. Some of the funniest things happen in the Mountainlair in June during Orientation.
Cherish the time with the other Orientation Leaders because it’s the only time you’ll see them all together before school starts up. One more thing to keep in mind when working Orientation, say everything with a smile.