Chronicles of a NODA Intern: BAMA NODA

by Maggie Sutton@maggie_sutton

This weekend, the NODA interns in the state of Alabama planned a statewide meet up to get to know one another. We decided to meet at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, because it was the most central location for all of us to travel to.

In attendance was myself, NODA intern from UAH, two NODA interns from UAB, four NODA interns from the University of Alabama, and one NODA intern from Auburn University.

I was most excited to get to hear all about everyone’s various experiences with their NODA internships, how the different institutions structure their new student orientation sessions, what the different groups orientation leaders were called – basically, all business stuff.

At the end of the day, my experience was quite different than I expected – in a 100% positive way.

After meeting at UAB, we introduced ourselves to one another and decided on where we would like to get lunch. Then someone said, “So, who watches House of Cards?” And that’s pretty much where the business ended.

Instead, we spent the day getting to know one another, stuffing our faces with delicious pizza and cooling off with Steel City Popsicles. We talked about our favorite TV shows, movies we had recently seen – specifically how we had all cried during Inside Out. We talked about our friends and cohort members back home. We talked about music, and dance moves, and what we liked to do on a Friday night. And yes, we talked a little bit about work – but not as much as we talked about each other’s outfits and “Where did you get those shoes?!”

At the end of the day, can I say that I know the ends and outs of orientation and retention programs at the larger institutions in Alabama? Well, no. But I can say that I came away from the afternoon with seven new friends. We will navigate the remainder of our internships and our time in graduate school together. To me, that was time well spent.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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