Summer Orientation Spotlight: Olivia Carey
Olivia Carey is a fourth year student from Ottawa, Ontario studying Journalism with minors in Business and French. She is a current executive for the Carleton University Journalism Society in the position of Digital Media Liaison. She is a Summer Orientation leader this year working on the portfolio of Student Affairs Awareness Campaigns, specifically the CU Don’t Know Campaign.
How has the Summer Orientation experience been so far?
My Summer O experience has been incredible. Actually, when I did Summer Orientation going into my first year, I remember watching a presentation by the Summer O leaders. My Dad turned to me and said, “I could really see you doing this”, and I was like, “Yeah, I could too!” Now I’m a Summer O leader, so it was like a little dream of mine. It’s been really great. I think my favorite part is just meeting the new students especially the journalism students. Thinking back to my first year and how stressed and nervous I was coming into it, I try to encourage them and tell them, “You can do this!”, so it’s a lot of fun connecting with them and other students as well.
Can you describe your portfolio and what roles you have to fulfill within it?
My portfolio is Student Affairs’ Awareness Campaigns. I work on an alcohol awareness campaign called CU Don’t Know! It aims to raise awareness about safe drinking habits for students at Carleton. So far I have been working on the posters – we have flashy posters around the school for the campaign, as well as working on the social media. So, if students would like to submit ideas for posters, they can tweet @CUDontKnow!
Why do you think it is important for students to attend Summer Orientation?
I think it’s super important, even though it’s optional. For me going into university, I was super nervous and living off-campus I was worried that I would not make friends, and I was leaving a lot of my high school friends behind. So I think going to Summer Orientation just helped to ease the nervousness going into university. Not only in being more comfortable on campus, but it’s also really inspiring. You hear about the Summer Orientation leaders’ stories and what they are involved with on campus, and it encourages you to also get involved. For me, my Summer O leader was on the dance team and she encouraged me to tryout. That was one thing that I was super excited about going into my first year. I actually didn’t end up making it, but it’s okay because I had a lot of fun and I ended up meeting some new people there so that was a really great part of it.
What has been your favorite moment so far this summer?
There have been a few actually. I met one journalism student who was pretty nervous. In journalism, there is a grade cutoff from your first year going into second year. I met one student who was super nervous about that. She came to me and she’s like, “I don’t know what I’m going to do”, she was just super nervous about it. I told her that I actually was wait-listed in my first year, so I didn’t get in right away. But, I’m going into my fourth year now, so even if that does happen, hopefully you’re still going to get there. I believe that if you really want to make it then you can. So, I guess just encouraging her. That was a really great connection make.
I’ve had a few students also approach me just based on how I was involved on campus and ask me about how they can also get involved. I love talking to students about that and the things I am passionate about. Seeing students also passionate about it makes me excited. I’m excited for them to get started!
Along with Summer Orientation, what are some of the other programs you were involved that helped immerse you in the Carleton community as a first year off-campus student?
Being an off-campus student, I was so determined to get involved on campus because I was worried not living in residence would affect that. But that was not the case! Going into first year, I got involved with the Journalism Society, and that was within my first month of university. I got an email from the president of the society, and they were looking for year representatives. So I just volunteered my time and I have been a member ever since. I am an executive now, which kind of goes to show the connections that you can make within those first few weeks! Being a journalism student, I started at the Charlatan, our on-campus student newspaper. Within my first year, I didn’t write too much for the paper, but I started taking photos for them and that kind of led to more in my second year.
I went to a lot of tryouts. Some things stuck while some things didn’t! I think it was just a great opportunity to meet people. Fall Orientation as well was a big thing for me because I actually ended up meeting one of my best friends during that week and we are still really good friends to this day. We just went on an internship together in May so the connections you can make within that first week are great.
What is something you’ve learned working at Carleton this summer that you didn’t know previously?
Honestly, the only thing I can think of, is I didn’t realize how many groundhogs are on this campus! I’m not usually here in the summer, but walking around campus and being in the quad I swear there’s a family of groundhogs living under there!
How do you think your work this summer can help or relate back to what you study in Journalism?
One of the reasons I wanted this job was because I enjoy public speaking and presentations. Even though we do the same presentations over and over, I enjoy it every time because you see new faces watching you and you see new reactions every time! Related to journalism, personally I want to get into TV. So having that confidence to give presentations and remembering your script, but also if you forget your script knowing how to kind of think on your feet is really important as well. Just communicating information to people in general definitely relates back to journalism. Also, talking to people and knowing how to approach people while making them feel at ease is important.
Summer Orientation Superlatives: Meet the Team
Most likely to become a professional speaker
Most likely to get lost on tour, Class Clown
Always on his phone
Summer Orientation Team Parent
This interview has been condensed and edited.