Umu Sowe: Getting Back in the Leadership Game

Position on O-Team: 

Crew Lead


International Economics & Finance



1. How have you been involved at Ryerson?

I haven’t really been involved on Campus. I went from being a high-school student who was involved in everything- and by everything, I mean EVERYTHING! My mom used to yell at me all the time for it. I came into university expecting to do the same thing, and I didn’t. I’m not exactly sure why I chose not to, but the transition from high school to university, for some reason, made me leave all the things I truly loved doing behind. I went to few basketball games, a few pub nights but I did not truly engage myself into the vibrant community of Ryerson.


2. Why did you want to join the Orientation Team?


I wanted to be apart of the O-Team for the mere reason that it meant I was getting back to my roots, the thing that I loved – being able to change someone’s experience for the better. I would do this position even if I was not getting paid. The responsibility of not only managing and strengthening leaders to be even better people and for them to go out and engage with the incoming students and impact them in a positive way excites me! What drives me is the idea that I can do something very small and it can inspire someone to want to do/be great.


3. What were you most nervous about coming into university?

I don’t think I was nervous. I had a pretty big transition from middle school to high-school, where I completely left all my friends behind and moved to Brampton from Toronto. I thought that at the time, it would be the worst thing that could ever happen to me… Boy, was I wrong! It turned out to be one of the best things that could ever happen to me. Ever since that experience, I embrace change. You never know what the transition will entail.


4. What piece of advice would you give a group of incoming first years?

207090_10150544666170013_1337020_nSchool Related: Don’t feel like you have to keep a full course load. If you are struggling in a course and don’t feel like you can keep up with it, it is ok to drop it. Take your time; don’t let school stress you out. There is no pressure to finish in 4 years, don’t feel like you have to. Make your next 4+ years the best times of your life. Remember: You are too blessed to be stressed!

Life in General: “A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.” As you embark on your university journey, there will be some amazing times, and some hard times. Everybody’s journey is different. Some people take detours, but every detour is experience/knowledge gained. Remember that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail or how messy your journey is, so long as you do not stop taking small steps forward. Enjoy the ride!


5. What are you most excited for this Orientation & why?

I am most excited to see it all come together. We started the planning in May. It would have been a process of 4 months by the time O-Week comes around. My team is amazing and I’m beyond excited to see our vision of Rise 2014 come to actualization.


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