If there is any experience here at CMU that has forced me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to grow the most, it was being the Sponsorship Coordinator for Siblings Weekend and Up All Night.
After helping on the Homecoming Committee in the Fall semester, I thought it would be fun to do Siblings Weekend and/or Up All Night. I applied to be the Sponsorship Coordinator, kind of knowing that it was going to be a long commitment, but also not really knowing what exactly I was getting myself into (that seems to be a theme in these posts).
Immediately after Homecoming was when Sibs started. I was extremely nervous, and quickly learned that there were high expectations for my position. I had to start making phone calls to businesses in the community, but I didn’t really know what I was supposed to be asking for. I asked lots (and I mean LOTS) of questions to the chairs, and they answered them, but again, I still wasn’t sure what it was they wanted me to do. Thank god I had my roommate Sara; she knew how to make a good phone call, and she even walked me through some trial calls in my early days. For the first few weeks, I had to have a script written out in front of me of all the things I had to say; I had different lines for all of the different questions that businesses could possibly ask. If a different question was asked, I froze (and then added it to my script).
By the end of Up All Night, I could pick up the phone at any point in the day and call any of the hundred businesses on my list. I knew everything I needed to say, and I was confident in my abilities enough that I could just go with the flow of the conversation. It was amazing how much I gained from this experience – my communication in everyday life improved as well, my confidence went up, and I gained other valuable skills that can’t be put into words.
I never would have gotten through these two committees if it wasn’t for the two teams that I got to work with. Both very different in every way, it was great getting to see the different dynamics at work. I got to play a small part in a lot of different roles (helping out the food team for Up All Night, finding bingo prizes for both events, and doing whatever else anyone needed help with), and it was a truly great experience getting to work with all the people that I did.