Special from CMU-Q

Orientation at the Carnegie Mellon Qatar campus is the liveliest time of the year. It’s the time when CMUQ restocks its supply of talented individuals and welcomes them to be part of the Tartan community.

A team of four Head Orientation Counselors (HOCs), five Orientation Leaders (OLs), and 20 Orientation Counselors (OCs) were recruited to welcome the newest members of our campus family. Over a five month period, the HOCs worked hard to recruit the rest of the team, decide on an orientation theme, prepare a schedule, and manage the logistics of this week-long event.

The most significant part of orientation planning is deciding on the theme. Each year, the orientation’s theme is based on concepts like superheroes or pirates, and our entire campus is decorated accordingly. This year, the inspiration came from Dr. Seuss’ famous poem, and the HOCs chose the phrase, “Oh! The Places You’ll Go!” and turned the campus into Carnegie International Airport. Activities over the five-day period were designed to incorporate these aspects of the theme. The orientation team members were dressed as pilots, aviation officers, and flight crew.

The idea was to encourage the newcomers to dream big and to make sure they know that their fellow Tartans are there to guide them through the process. Under the CMUQ roof, we are all Tartans, bound for the same four-year journey.

As orientation week approached, the team took part in four days of training to prepare to welcome the new Tartans and engage them in a week of fun-filled activities. The first day of the week centered on the history of Carnegie Mellon, along with team building activities and informational sessions. Excitement picked up on the second day as freshmen in their respective orientation clusters chose a team name, painted their team flags, and played dodge ball with other clusters.

On day three, also known as Academic Day, the freshmen met with professors in their departments and learned about the various academic resources available to them. On day four, orientation participated in more team building, went to a social with professors, and attended convocation for the Class of 2019. By the last day of orientation, these new Tartans were part of the CMUQ family. Each orientation cluster prepared short skits based on important values at CMUQ and ended the day with a final dinner together.

Orientation has always played an integral part of the freshman experience. It allows the upperclassmen on the orientation team to give back to the community by creating a smooth transition for the incoming Tartans. College is an important milestone in every individual’s life, and having a wonderful family to spend some of the most important years of your life with makes this a very special experience. CMUQ is our home, and orientation gives us the chance to welcome people to it with open arms.