Last spring, I applied for a position as an Owl Team Leader at Temple. I wasn’t looking forward to it and thought of it as just another summer job, and at the insistence of my mom, I took the position. I moved into Hardwick in mid-June and had no idea I was in for one of the best summers of my life. As an orientation leader on campus, I had the rare opportunity to meet nearly every incoming freshman (including my sister!) and help them feel like they were finally a part of this Temple community.
What I hadn’t expected was to find so many incredible friends and laugh so much. I had gone to school in Philadelphia for two whole years and never took the time to explore the city. I had made the decision to come to Temple two years ago, but I finally fell in love with Philadelphia. “You like living in Town, huh?! See, what did I tell you?!” were frequent expressions from my mom. Every off day was spent walking around the city and enjoying the summer. I became more confident in myself as I made great friends, bonding with the other OTLs.
One of my best friends, Rachel, an OTL, is the student coordinator for orientation, and after a minor snafu trying to decide on an outfit with her (I had forgotten she wouldn’t understand me asking if a “jumper,” the British word for “sweater,” would be appropriate), I was excited for the group interview process. After experiencing the interview process last year, I was more confident and calm the second time around.
100 students applied for the positions, and the group interview was very competitive. As soon as people walked in the door, it was welcoming and everyone was intrigued to find out about everyone else. The activities were designed to truly get a feel for applicants’ leadership skills, ability to be a mentor as an OTL, and their passion for Temple. I left knowing that certainly, the new crop of OTLs, whoever they may be, will be great representatives of the university in donning those other red polos.