John Jacobs (JJ), the previous assistant director of Student Involvement, aspired to make Trinity feel like home for every student. His departure from the position last fall saddened many, but his replacement has used his influence to begin her promising career.
“JJ’s a funny guy. He has woo in his strength. He’s very creative, personable and able to make an impact. Our strengths worked well together,” said Esther Kim, assistant director for orientation programs.
When Jacobs first came to Trinity, Kim interned under him and was able to observe, and later work beside him in the job of creating a home for new and incoming students. Now, Kim is the primary face of the orientation team and executor of orientation activities. She begins planning orientation and guiding student adjustment 10 months in advance.
“We just completed the process of spring transfer student orientation, which is a mini version of new student orientation. We are welcoming the students and helping them get acclimated to campus while introducing new traditions. We also started planning for new student orientation that will happen in August of 2017, and are just beginning applications for new members of the O-Team,” Kim said.
Kim noticed that she and Jacobs both expressed their care and dedication for making an easier transition for incoming students in different, but complimenting, strengths.
“I like to get things done. I love to watch the process of planning events and observe how events and activities eventually plan themselves out. I’m planning right now for the incoming orientation team by making sure they know how to greet new members, what the Pathways curriculum is, the demographics behind the incoming class. Overall, I’m trying to make sure the captains and interns work together to build a strong training team and gain some experience that will help them post-grad or in their next career,” Kim said.
Kim’s history of working with new student orientation and her greatest individual strengths were compelling reasons to hire her to replace her former boss.
“I hired her in June of 2015. She had formerly been a summer orientation intern for us. We had the benefit of seeing her work ethic, skills and talents she brought to the team as an intern. She has a great love and joy for working with students and is really passionate about the orientation team. When Jacobs left, plugging her into the orientation programs’ part of our office made a lot of sense, given her talents. The opportunity to give her this experience was very exciting for her, our team,and her professional development. Esther is a great team member. She is always ready to give a helping hand. She works very hard and she is very detail-oriented,” said Jamie Thompson, director of Student Involvement.
With Kim’s focus and talents, she has not only made a positive impression as a co-worker and employee, but also as an orientation team leader for students on her team.
“She’s very energetic and open to ideas, and good to be the new leader. As a leader, communication is key, and Esther has done a great job of that so far,” said Shane Bono, a sophomore business analytics and technologies major and orientation team member .
As Kim begins organizing her plans and establishing goals to fulfill in her new role, other coworkers have approached her in hopes of giving her advice to make her job a little smoother.
“I think the advice I would give to Esther is the same thing I would share with all members of our team, which is to be present as often as we can, to enjoy the highs that exist when working with students and the wonderful learning moments we get to see. Our work is student-centered, and that’s the beauty of our work. We stay student centered and mission-centered. Our department mission is to develop student leaders and facilitate programs that contribute to a vibrant campus life, and I think we do that every day,” Thompson said.
In the meantime, Kim’s presence has been enjoyed by her various coworkers, and the search has begun to find a replacement for her previous position.
“I am really proud of our team. We have a lot of synergy right now and work really hard to acknowledge each other’s talents and strengths we bring to the table each day. The reorganization has amplified that, as I’ve been able to put staff members in places where they really shine, and it has benefited the students. We have just started a search committee for her old job, and we hope to fill the role this spring,” Thompson said.
For questions or inquiries about orientation, Kim is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.