By Guest Blogger: Megan Bogolia
I have participated in a lot of different activities and events during my freshman year at DePaul. I must say, however, that the EDGE program has been the highlight of my freshman year involvement. I have had so much fun working with my team in the Office of Student Involvement and I’m so thankful to have been part of such a great program.
EDGE has helped me a lot in my professional life. The resume workshop we did during Winter Quarter was extremely helpful. It showed me how to develop a strong resume that has helped me land several interviews and even a job! The cover letter workshop, as well, was equally as helpful. I had been avoiding job applications that required a cover letter because I didn’t know how to write a cover letter; after that EDGE workshop, I had no problem confidently applying to jobs and internships that needed one!
Another thing EDGE has helped me with in terms of my professional life is my LinkedIn profile. I actually had no idea was LinkedIn was until EDGE! Essentially, it’s a very important tool for networking and potential jobs and/or internships – it’s kind of like a professional Facebook. Without EDGE, I honestly wouldn’t have known how to create a successful profile so early. Interview skills, along with this, were something we learned about during one of our meetings. I was taught a lot about what interviewers were looking for, especially in group interviews (which was actually something I had never been exposed to).
My personal life has also greatly benefitted from EDGE. We had two great presentations from the Office of Financial Fitness: one that focused on budgeting (which I have learned is very important in college) and one that gave useful information about renting apartments. Something that I’ve learned is that managing money is very different now that I’m not living at home – the budgeting workshop showed me how to organize my spending and saving. During the apartment workshop, I learned what to look for when renting, the proper steps to take prior and after finding the space, and the kinds of questions that are important to ask. These workshops were both so helpful and I’m extremely grateful to have been able to participate in them!
We also had a workshop on StrengthsQuest, a website that basically helped us discover our talents for future job opportunities and beyond. There was an online quiz we were all required to take that helped to determine our core strengths and assets. This workshop in particular taught me a lot about myself. I learned how to challenge my skills in a way that would be beneficial in both leadership and everyday instances. These strengths, I learned, came into play every day of my life and being aware of them has helped me know how to act in a ton of different situations.
During our team meetings, we also talked a lot about other organizations at DePaul that you can get involved in. This was nice because I learned about different clubs and groups that I would never have heard of otherwise. I joined the organization Hoops for Hopes (which is a volunteer group that works with children at the Kelly YMCA). I’ve had a great time there and am glad I learned about it through EDGE! Another thing I learned about was the Student Leadership Institute. I discovered their certificate program and was so interested that I decided to complete it! The seminars were very interesting and I had a great time improving my leadership skills through them.
I love everyone on my team. We’ve spent so much time together over the quarter and I am so grateful I got the chance to meet all of them. During our Earth Week projects, I got to know a few of them even better which was a great opportunity. Of course, the actual Earth Week event was also a fun experience. I learned how to plan an event and how much work actually goes into it! It was a fun idea and I’m glad we got to spread the word about helping the environment.
As the weeks progressed, we were also introduced to the other staff members in the Office of Student Involvement. They’re all really awesome and I’m glad we had the chance to meet them in person. We were taught so much about OSI and what exactly the office does. Now I know where to go if I ever need tickets for an event or if I’m looking for something fun to do in Chicago! It’s a great resource at DePaul and I’m very happy it’s now an office I’m really familiar with.
Being a part of the OSI EDGE team and the EDGE program in general has been such a great experience. I am so thankful for all of the people I’ve met and for all the opportunities it has brought me. I would highly recommend incoming students to look into becoming a part of the EDGE program because it’s been such a rewarding and memorable experience for me this year!