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Student Experiential Learning Articles

SEL profile: Sarah Ooi
Hampton Inn

LEADERSHIP: Sarah Ooi: Homecoming Heroine

April 25, 2016

Enjoying cookies and laughter at a planning meeting, leaving meaningful chalk notes throughout campus and inflating balloons into the wee hours of the morning? All just part of Homecoming committee, according to senior Sarah Ooi. Ooi served as the Homecoming Student Chair during Fall 2015, where she planned directed all the Homecoming activities for students leading up to and during Homecoming Day. As a PR major, Ooi found that her skills benefited her publicity responsibilities for these events, including designing posters in collaboration with College Press and updating the Homecoming website.

In Spring 2015, Ooi began an internship with the Messiah College Office of Alumni and Parent Relations (OAPR). In this position, she gained experience with event planning, which she hopes to pursue as a future career. Ooi especially looked forward to using these interests to support the Messiah College community, and the Homecoming Committee presented a perfect opportunity for this.

Ooi remembers feeling nervous last August about the workload of the Homecoming Committee. However, the teamwork and friendships soon calmed her nerves. When she first started planning Homecoming events, she drew from her PR courses. She notes, “Communication is a very fast-paced and detail-oriented field. My writing experience, class projects and presentations definitely helped make my experience as Homecoming Chair less stressful.”

Ooi’s favorite part of this experience came when each of her events played out. She had always dreamed of a Food Truck Fair at Messiah, so she especially enjoyed the fruition of this event and the steady stream of students lined up to purchase their favorite foods all evening long.

Beyond the events themselves, the professional growth and leadership cultivation Sarah developed through this experience pleasantly surprised her. The opportunity to attend faculty meetings and coordinate events with offices such as Conference Services and Catering as well as several academic departments helped her put leadership skills into action. She concludes, “I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of Homecoming 2015. I can’t wait to see what is in store next year, as an alum!"

-Stephanie Bricker ‘18