Reflections on organizing a 500+ person event

                                                       Chris Esch '18, Betsy Koons '18

                                                      Chris Esch '18, Betsy Koons '18

For the past two years I've had the amazing privilege of helping organize First Day. During this final event, when people asked me my thoughts on the experience - the 5 hours of sleep that I was running on left me without an eloquent response. Now, with some time and sleep, I finally have a better answer as to the things I've loved about these past two years:

Working with Wonderful People – I never thought I’d say these words, but I genuinely looked forward to weekly status meetings. Working on the First Day team was an excellent way to make great friends, both as a first and second year and I couldn’t be more thankful for those relationships.

The Trust of Admissions – I’ve heard myself speak several times throughout my life and I would never dare put myself in front of impressionable admits. Yet Admissions somehow did, and I couldn't be more thankful for the experience. It showed great trust in both Betsy and I, and for me personally it was an amazing opportunity for personal growth.

The Admits Feedback – After the event, we get to hear back from the admits, and without fail, they consistently praise our amazing volunteers. When you read about how lost and overwhelmed an admit felt until squad leaders introduced themselves and helped them feel welcome, it reminds you of the amazingly kind and compassionate people we go to school with.

The Chicken and Waffles Cones at The Ivy Room – Have you had these things? Probably not, since I ate roughly 75% of them. As much as the First Day team would like to take credit for our yield numbers, these little things are really doing most of the work.

My Amazing Co-Chair – Betsy and I met at First Day as admits ourselves and as soon as I saw her, I knew she was the one… with whom I would coordinate four, 250+ person events over a two-year period. Sometimes you just know these things. In the end I couldn’t have dreamt of a better partner. Betsy carried the load, dealt with my impressively bad jokes, and did it all with a smile. Thank you Bets.

Remembering How Lucky We Are – It’s easy to get bogged down with recruiting, homework, group meetings, and the soul-crushing debt we’re accumulating. First Day is a chance to step back from that. It’s a chance to remember that I am fortunate enough to go to one of the best learning institutions in the world. A place people dream of going to. A place that brings people to tears when they are finally admitted. Two times each year, I have had the pleasure of remembering the joy that I felt when I first got that call. For that I count myself extremely fortunate.

Chris and Betsy are the co-chairs of First Day - undertaking the mammoth task of ensuring every admit feels like they belong at Booth from their very first day here.