Getting orientated to lead students

After being accepted into Oakland University, students are required to take a day of orientation to the school, including a tour of the campus and important information before classes begin. The first face many Oakland students remember is the one of their Orientation Group Leader.

Amanda Kmetz, a junior majoring in elementary education, is one of the 20 OGLs for the 2010 school year. The selected students are part of the largest OGL group to tour the campus; the past OGL team consisted of 16 students.

After a Saturday group process of observing those interested in the position, Kmetz was called back for an interview, and was eventually informed of her upcoming position.

Before taking students on orientation tours of the campus, OGLs are required to undergo approximately three weeks of training, five days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with only an hour break for lunch each day. Kmetz’s first tour will begin the Monday after the OGL training concludes.

During the training sessions, the 2010 OGL’s listen to presentations from the organizations such as the Financial Aid Department and OUPD, and also have lectures on important tour information including safety procedures. OGLs are trained in all aspects of the tour, even on how to deal with a “problem child” in the group.

After a few “boring summers,” Kmetz decided to take a break from the ordinary and embark on a new experience. Interested in a summer job that pertained to the school but deviated from her organizations, she applied to be an OGL and fall semester Resident Assistant.

“I remember last summer I did absolutely nothing, so I thought, ‘let’s change that up a bit,'” says Kmetz. “I know a few friends who have done it and I was really excited to do something other than stuff dedicated to just my group work.”

Being an OGL has more perks than knowing the ins-and-outs of the campus. Kmetz benefits from free housing on campus during her time as OGL, a salary, 300 declining points on her Spirit Card and receives free T-shirts, water bottles, and even a personalized bag in which she carries her binder for training.

In addition to her work as an OGL and a future Resident Assistant of the seventh floor of East Vandenberg, Kmetz is Vice President of Circle K International,  Teams Captain Chair for Up ‘Til Dawn, VP of Membership of the co-ed fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and is also a member of the Community Service Council. She is part of the advising unit for OU students, which she feels ties in very well to her elementary education studies.

On weekends and during her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family and her fellow OGL’s watching movies and sports games. She has been working on her posters, but mentions that she finds little time in her day after training.

Kmetz said that she will be practicing her time management skills for her upcoming participation at OU. She will begin housing training in mid-August for her role as OGL and will be taking her major classes. For the next few months, however, she will be offering her knowledge of the campus to the students who are in her orientation group.

“You don’t realize how much is in a certain building until you have to talk about it. You have to think, did I get everything, every floor, every office?”

Kmetz admits that as she walks around campus, she rehearses the facts of each building and offices inside. She said that training and retaining all of the information is harder than she had thought it would have been. Despite the early mornings and information quizzes, she said she is satisfied with her decision and is excited to bring in the new school year with her orientation students.