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Spotlight: Welcome Week Coordinator Rameesha Qazi

June 16th, 2017

One of the best times to get yourself out there with other students and meet new people is during Feds' Welcome Week. The festivities are celebrated for being an inclusive and fun time for students, both new and returning, to enjoy their campus and the people who populate it.

The fun of Welcome Week couldn't be achieved without some highly organized and dedicated people working behind the scenes. One of these students is Rameesha Qazi, who sat down and answered some questions about her time as a Welcome Week coordinator.

How did you first get involved with Welcome Week?

I was looking for different opportunities on the University of Waterloo's LEADS website, looking for something I hadn't been involved in yet. I saw a posting from Feds for Welcome Week Coordinator and I jumped at the chance to try something new on campus.

What does a day in the life of a Welcome Week Coordinator involve?

Each day involves double checking that there are enough volunteers and that they're organized. A big part of it is making sure there's enough food for everyone. And of course you have to check in with the major stakeholders of the event to make sure everything is running smoothly for them too. We make sure the vendors have everything they need when they arrive and help keep the flow of the event moving. I also found that a major part of the job was checking in with other coordinators to see if they needed help - there's always so much to do during the week so it's important to make sure everyone has some help.

What are some lessons you learned in your role as Welcome Week Coordinator?

I learned that no matter how much you plan for things, there will always be something you're not prepared for. And that helped me to also learn to go with the flow. I am definitely the kind of person that has a meltdown when things are not going according to plan, but being a part of two Welcome Weeks really taught me how to just go with it. Since I applied on a whim, I think the very best thing I learned was to be open to new opportunities.

How has helping with Welcome Week festivities improved your overall student experience?

I made a lot of friends and connections with Feds employees that are really important to me.

When I applied to be a part of Fall Welcome Week in 2016, I was heading into my last school year thinking I would have a terrible time as most of the people I knew at that time had graduated. But, boy, I was wrong, because I had a fantastic last year of university. I got to meet people and spend time doing something I love - planning events - which kick-started my last year in the best way possible. My only regret is not getting involved earlier.

Welcome Week is aimed at creating student connections. Beyond that, were you able to make any professional connections while working as a coordinator?

I was! The carnival that takes place during Fall Welcome Week had a set up from a company called X Infused. I spent some time talking to them and getting to know the guys that work there. I would love to work there one day since they do all the really cool events that happen all across Canada, including music festivals. You never know who might be at Welcome Week and you never know who could turn out to be the connection of a lifetime.

Why do you think being involved in Welcome Week, as a coordinator or otherwise, is important for students?

You get to meet other people who are as motivated and awesome as you are because you’re volunteering for the same things. If you’re a coordinator, you will have the best time planning all kinds of cool events. Plus watching people enjoy them will be the cherry on top. It builds a sense of community where you can make genuine friends that can last a very long time. It's important not just for new students who want to make new connections, but for returning students who want a fun or active way to re-establish old connections too.

How do you think your experiences as a coordinator will help you in the future?

I think learning to go with the flow is huge for me, and it probably is for lots of university students. I also really love planning events and having planned so many large-scale events will definitely be helpful for filling out my resume. I learned how to work with all kinds of different people on the planning and execution level, plus I learned how to manage volunteers. All of these are important for literally any job in a major workforce.

What is your favourite memory from your time as a Welcome Week Coordinator?

Two things jump out at me when I think about my time. First of all, the amazing people I worked with and all the friendships I made. There's too many to list but these people made not just my student life better but also became some of my best friends. Second, I remember one Welcome Week I was working at the carnival and was able to get matching stuffed animals for the other coordinators and myself. It was great to see their faces light up over something so simple and I still keep mine on my desk to remind me of the fun I had with them at Welcome Week.

 

If reading about Rameesha's experiences as a Welcome Week Coordinator have you excited to meet new people, get involved and plan exciting events, get your application in now! Welcome Week Coordinator positions for Fall 2017 are now being accepted on LEADS.

 

Written by Leanna Walsh, Communications Assistant.