In many ways, orientation leaders are a student’s first friend at college. They show you where buildings are, guide you through the norms, and introduce incoming students to a lot of cool things around campus and the community they might not be aware of.
Many students can still point them out and share memories from orientation years later, and some keep in contact with them.
Peyton Overstreet, 21, is a biology major on a pre-med track from Kosciusko, and he is involved in many campus activities.
Some might consider Ambassadors, those who give prospective UM students tours in the fall, or football recruiters among some of the most influential jobs on campus. Overstreet does both.
He is an Ole Miss Ambassador, an Orientation leader, and a member of International Student Conversation Partners and the American Medical Student Association. As an Ambassador, he is on the leadership council and serves as the director of athletics.
As director of athletics, Overstreet and his co-workers have an important role this football season. Although they are still working out the logistics, Overstreet will be spending many football games this season with high school student athletes who visit Ole Miss. He and a few team members will be connecting with recruits on game weekends.
Overstreet said they will be “giving tours of facilities, showing them around, and hanging out throughout the games.”
Overstreet said his favorite involvement has been his longest – Ambassadors. “It’s a good way to meet a lot of potential students, share my experiences at Ole Miss, and hopefully encourage other students to want to come here,” Overstreet said.
Ambassadors serve as the face of the university. Aside from giving prospective students a taste of student life and what they can expect, they also connect with parents and family members, many of whom are alumni.
For many students, your tour guide might be the first student you can talk to and engage with on a personal level about what it is really like to be an Ole Miss Rebel. They work hard to encourage and connect.
Overstreet said the job has taught him a lot about the history of Ole Miss and how a lot of things around campus came to be.
Getting a spot on the Orientation team is a competitive process. It takes a certain kind of person to be an Orientation leader, and the administration facility finds the best suited through a multitude of interviews, team building activities and recommendations.
As an Orientation leader, Overstreet and his coworkers are assigned a small group of incoming freshman to work with for the next few days.
They do ice-breakers to introduce themselves to each other and help make friends, help students register for their first college classes, and are willing to take any class-related questions a nervous freshman might think of.
They show them around campus, where the important buildings are, tell them who to talk to for specific issues, and prepare them to become a part of the Ole Miss family.
The team gets very close over the course of the summer, as they are all required to stay in the dorms and spend nearly every day together from sunrise to sunset.
Fellow Orientation leader Dalton Huerkamp said Overstreet is good in both roles as an Orientation leader and Ambassador.
“Peyton is one of the more approachable and truly kind people I’ve met as a student at Ole Miss,” he said, “He’s knowledgeable about campus, open to questions, and able to entertain, as well as inform, on his tours and in his OL groups.”
Overstreet said he decided to try out for these roles so he could show others why he thinks Ole Miss is special, and there is no better way to do that than by representing our university firsthand.