Office of Student Life: Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

2018 OWL Co-Chairs
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2018 OWL Co-Chairs

2017 OWL Co-Chairs
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2017 OWL Co-Chairs

Wisdom from past Co-Chairs

"The OWL Co-Chair position was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I wouldn't change for the world." - Kyle Zufra (Co-Chair 2018)

"The OWL Co-Chair position is an awesome opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience and manage a lot of responsibility. I would recommend the job to anyone who enjoys planning, Move-In Day, and OWL puns. Hootie Hoot!!" – Sera Kitchen (Co-Chair 2017)

"If you have a passion for the OWL program, or just Ohio State in general, then I would highly recommend applying. You will meet amazing people, make connections that will help you down the road, and see a whole other side of the university that you never knew existed!" – Matt Studenmund (Co-Chair 2016)

What did you enjoy about being an OWL Co-Chair?

I spent my summer alongside a team that pushed me to do my absolute best both with OWL and my personal aspirations. Planning and participating in one of the largest events on campus only allowed my love for Ohio State and being a Buckeye to grow. - Kyle Zufra (Co-Chair 2018)

There wasn’t a thing that I didn’t enjoy, but I’d have to say the feeling at the end of the program was my favorite! Not that I was ready for the program to be over, but that I got to see all of the hard work that we put in over the summer finally pay off. The pride felt was unimaginable. I was able to make connections all across campus, meet hundreds of students one-on-one, and work with and incredible team that ended in a friendship I never would have otherwise. It was all around an experience that I will never forget. - Kayla Vorhees (Co-Chair 2018)

The thing I enjoyed most about the Co-Chair position is the people that you get to meet! I was a part of an amazing team that I became super close with, because when you coordinate over a thousand volunteers, you form those unbreakable bonds. Even beyond our team though, I met some amazing people. Whether it be senior staff in different buildings, some of the Associate Directors of Residence Life, or all of the OWL-C's that you oversee, I have been able to build friendships and relationships that still last to this day, and that have benefited me in every aspect of my life!  - Matt Studenmund (Co-Chair 2016)

Being an OWL Co-Chair gave me the opportunity to get to know many different people that I would have otherwise never met. Our OWL planning group became super close by the time it was Move-In Day, and I formed many new friendships over the course of the OWL program. It was amazing to see all of our hard work play out when Move-In Week finally arrived!    - Sera Kitchen (Co-Chair 2017)

When looking back on a role that was so huge and such a prominent part of my summer, it's hard to pull out specifics. But something that is in each and every step of this program is a wonderful team of people. I'm not only referring to my awesome leadership team, but also the incredible residence life staff and other university employees that I got to know along the way. When planning an on-campus event as large as this one, it is all hands on deck and you rely on a lot of different people. Seeing the support university employees have for each other is pretty inspiring. Oh, and you can drive around a golf cart on Move-in Day, if that's your thing.  - Colin Knight (Co-Chair 2017)

What did you learn through your time as an OWL Co-Chair?

I learned a lot about my style of leadership, as well as my strengths and weaknesses as a leader and part of a team. I think that I learned how to be a valuable member of such a small team. Over the summer, only 4 people made up the Leadership Team and so we all had to put in a significant amount of work and get along with one another. I would say we did so very well! - Kayla Vorhees (Co-Chair 2018)

The OWL Co-Chair position has taught me countless skills that I will use the rest of my life. The position has allowed me to grow and become a stronger leader. Throughout my time as Co-Chair I was given countless opportunities and responsibilities to work with a team that pushed each other to strive for their absolute best. I was given responsibility and was trusted to complete tasks that pushed me out of my comfort zone. - Kyle Zufra (Co-Chair 2018)

Plans changed all of the time, and so having the ability to adapt to those changes and make the best of the situations was a skill that I was glad I gained from the position! I learned was how to be a leader among my peers. As a sophomore, I was nervous about overseeing hundreds of people who were my age or older. However, given this experience, I was able to find my stride as a leader, and gained that confidence that I could definitely be a leader among my peers! - Matt Studenmund (Co-Chair 2016)

The Co-Chair position taught me to be flexible and maintain a positive attitude when things happen that are out of my control. I have learned the importance of seeking input from others and knowing how to delegate tasks without micromanaging. Even if it is impossible to please everyone all the time, it is important to consider all the different perspectives in making decisions. I learned that nothing I do will be perfect, and that is okay. - Sera Kitchen (Co-Chair 2017)

You learn how to work on a team. You learn how to conduct a crowd. You learn how to work in a professional environment. You learn how to balance work and fun. You learn, without trying to sound too cliche, how awesome of a school Ohio State actually is. - Colin Knight (Co-Chair 2017)

What advice would you give to a future OWL Co-Chair?

I would tell the future OWL Co-Chairs to definitely work hard, but make sure that you are also taking the time to enjoy it. The last few weeks are crazy and hectic, but make friends with your Co-Chair and watch musicals while you stuff the lanyards, or jam to some music while hanging the door decorations late at night. Those will be the times that you remember most when you look back at it. While the program is very important and you should devote your time to it, remember that it is your summer and your experience is what you make of it! - Kayla Vorhees (Co-Chair 2018)

Keep an open mind and be able to think on your feet. Even though planning process for the OWL program begins months in advance, things will always change at a moments notice and that's okay! Some days can be long and stressful, but keep in mind the rewarding work you are doing for the OWLs and for yourself. Be creative and always look for new ways that the program can improve. - Kyle Zufra (Co-Chair 2018)

The biggest piece of advice I could give is to laugh. There will be things that go wrong during your time as Co-Chair, as well as stressful times, and weird series of events. If you are able to laugh about it though, and overcome those obstacles, then you will find this to be one of the most rewarding jobs you could have! - Matt Studenmund (Co-Chair 2016)

Focus on the big picture, but also don't focus on the big picture. It is vital that you outline early on what you want students to get out of this program. You need to put an emphasis on what this program is all about (I'll give you a hint: It's more than just move-in.) But... it is also essential in the planning process to break down the tasks ahead of you. There is a lot that goes on during the week before move-in day. The only way to ensure your prepared is to go through the program one step at a time. Then you want to go back and make sure that what you have aligns with what you're really wanting participating students to get out of it. - Colin Knight (Co-Chair 2017)