1. Union Home
  2. Offices & Services
  3. Dean of Students
  4. First-Year Students
  5. Leadership Pre-Orientation

Leadership Experience (optional)

Why the Leadership Experience Pre-Orientation program?

Have you thought about what you’ll do when you get to campus? The time you spend outside of the classroom can be just as important and impactful as the time you spend in class. Many first-year students come to Union ready to get involved – but they just don’t know how to find their right fit.

This pre-orientation program is packed with fun activities and events that are designed to help new students discern their co-curricular interests, learn important leadership skills, and get to know their peers.

Were you very involved in high school? Looking to get more involved than you were in high school? It doesn’t matter what your level of leadership experience was before coming to Union – this pre-orientation program will help you discover your interests and help you find your fit! Hit the ground running with the Leadership Experience Pre-Orientation program!

Welcome to Campus

Arrive on campus early on Wednesday, August 31 and get to know our 16 Leadership Mentors – current upper-class students who all have had different paths to leadership while at Union. Some have been heavily involved on campus; others are involved in only one or two interests. Whatever your personality or leadership style, there is a Leadership Mentor who can help you fulfill your goals.

Move in quickly – we hit the road by lunchtime in order to spend a full day at Camp Becket in Western Massachusetts (www.bccymca.org) so we can start to get to know each other.

High & Low Ropes Courses (Wednesday, August 31)

Camp Becket’s Berkshire Outdoor Center features the most comprehensive ropes course in the entire Northeast! Join your classmates in some outdoor education, challenging each other while getting to know one another.  Develop a bond with the class while working as a team, cooperating, and communicating with the help of Camp Becket’s low ropes courses. We finish the day with a bonfire and S’mores before heading back to campus for your first night in your new room.

Learning leadership through fun activities (Thursday, September 1 & Friday, September 2)

The rest of our time will be spent on campus and in the immediate Schenectady area. Learn about leadership through a variety of fun activities, led by the Leadership Mentor team. We will spend a whole day learning important personal leadership skills with entertaining games. How do you learn communication skills through the game of Banana Surgery; build trust with blind folds; discuss ethics with a sinking ship; and handle conflict management with puzzles? Sign up for the Leadership Experience Pre-Orientation to find out!

In addition to the fun, interactive activities, we will spend some time discussing Strengths-based leadership and learning about your personal set of five leadership strengths, which you will discover by taking a StrengthsQuest Assessment(http://strengths.gallup.com/110389/Research-Behind-StrengthsFinder-20.aspx). We will also participate in a service-learning project, giving back to the Schenectady community, followed by a discussion on how service is important in the world of leadership and why it matters. In addition to a conversation about service-learning, we will spend part of the day learning about multiculturalism and inclusion and how that fits into successful leadership.

The Great Escape (Saturday, September 3)

We’ll finish our pre-orientation program with a bang! To celebrate the end of the program, the students in the Leadership Experience, Community Experience, Outdoor Experience, and International Orientation programs will join up and head north to 6 Flags Great Escape, an amusement park, to relax, have fun, and gear up for the general Orientation program that begins the following day.