We sat down with New Student & Family Program Student Specialist Sam Siebert to discuss SOAR (Student Orientation, Advisement and Registration) and why SOAR is important to her.
What inspired you to become a SOAR Leader? What lessons did you learn? When I went through SOAR as freshman, I really looked up to all of the SOAR Leaders. I saw them as role models and wanted to be like be like them one day. Even once I got to campus I would watch for SOAR leaders and model my behavior and involvement after them. I knew that at some point I wanted to play the same role in an incoming students’ life.
During my time as a SOAR leader I learned a lot about myself and my leadership styles and skills. Working closely with a tight knit team of strong and competent student leaders led me to develop my own strengths and understand what set me apart from the people I worked with. I also discovered a lot about my own desire to help and mentor others. I learned how to foster confidence in incoming students and how rewarding it was to see them thrive at Missouri State once the school year began.
What activities are you involved in on campus? Why is it important to get involved on campus? For a long time I was involved in Student Activities Council and student film productions. I’m currently involved in Student Government and the Homecoming Committee. I also am a student employee in two different offices on campus. I think it’s important to get involved because it helps you build a support network on campus. The organizations I’m in have allowed me to develop meaningful friendships with other students and have made Missouri State feel less like just a school and more like a home. During hard and stressful times, I really rely on the people I’ve met through my involvement at the university.
What was it about working with students that encouraged you to apply for the position of Student Orientation Coordinator? What are your responsibilities? I realized through my different leadership positions on campus that what I enjoyed most was contributing to an environment where other students could feel welcome, comfortable, and important. It made me feel good to be a part of something where people were forming friendships and making memories. Because the position of Student Orientation Assistant works closely with the SOAR Team, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to help the SOAR Leaders provide this kind of meaningful experience for incoming students as well as have a meaningful experience themselves.
I assist in the recruitment and hiring process for new SOAR Leaders as well as the planning of the Spring and Summer SOAR sessions. During the Summer I will work with the office staff and SOAR team to make sure that all the incoming students that come through SOAR have positive experiences during their session.
What is your favorite Missouri State tradition? Why? I love Homecoming Week. I think there’s something really awesome about all the generations of bears coming back to the university to celebrate together. Seeing alumni, current students, and even families with possible future bears all in one place really gives you a sense of just how much Missouri State can mean to everyone that comes here.
What is your major and what are your career goals? I have a double major in Mass Media Production and Philosophy. I hope to go into public policy work focusing on community outreach and education. I think the most important part of living in a democracy is being well informed on issues so that you can effectively use your voice to influence what your representatives are doing. I want to make this easier for people to do.
Using only three words, describe yourself. Genuine, Witty, and Crepuscular
What do you want your legacy at Missouri State to be? I really hope that through my time at Missouri State I was able to show younger students that there isn’t that much of a difference between them and the upperclassmen that they look up to. I think sometimes we see people we admire as so far ahead of us, that’s it stifling and keeps us from reaching for what we want to achieve. I hope that I was able to be a role model, but one that was honest and relatable enough to people that what I’ve achieved looks achievable to others as well. My hope is that once I’m gone, those that come after me will continue to mentor those younger than them and share the same encouragement.