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The ultimate business introduction

Camp Carey gets down to business, virtually, to introduce first-year students to everything they need to know to succeed at the W. P. Carey School


Honors marketing junior Caitlin Personale, who is the Camp Carey director, is pictured in the second row, far left, with fellow peer advisers.

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June 15, 2020

Caitlin Personale is an Arizona State University honors marketing junior with a unique background and a full plate. The vice president of membership experience for the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority responds to questions, comments and concerns of 150 college women at once, and now she has her sights set on making the first-ever virtual Camp Carey orientation a success as a director.

This summer, Personale will help lead first-year business students through activities on Zoom that help them discover their inner leader and unleash their inner Sparky as they make new friends, connect with key people and resources and map their futures in college and beyond. 

Some of the most important business skills are best learned through experience, which is why all new first-year W. P. Carey School of Business students are expected to participate in Camp Carey.

While learning about the business school and its resources, they’ll be having fun. It’s an opportunity to interact and build important and meaningful connections with peers, current and continuing students, alumni, deans, faculty and staff — friendly faces they’ll see in class and across campus throughout their time at ASU. They’ll also get to communicate ideas and engage with diverse groups — local, out-of-state and international students all find common ground at Camp Carey.

Smoothing the transition

Adjusting to college life is a big challenge for all first-year students; for some, college is intimidating and the stress of coping sometimes takes its toll. Camp Carey prepares new business students to start their academic careers on the right path. This year, more than 2,000 first-year students are expected to attend the virtual event.

During Camp Carey,  first-year students will work with volunteer facilitators like Personale, who are W. P. Carey sophomores, juniors and seniors, on leadership, communication and team facilitation skills that will be integral for future business careers. Camp Carey will also provide first-year students with a chance to build relationships and network with each other before the start of the fall semester, which can make a big difference in a student’s comfort level at the university.

“Making new friends in college helps students integrate more easily into college life,” said Personale, who works at W. P. Carey in a variety of roles, including student engagement office aide and navigator, residential engagement leader and senior peer adviser. “After attending Camp Carey, students will see familiar faces and can easily form study groups with students they meet.”

Been there, done that

Along with building lasting relationships with fellow first-year students, students who are attending Camp Carey find mentors and role models in their camp facilitators.

Personale works year-round to prepare for camp. She’s been managing all platforms of social media for Camp Carey as it has undergone a rebrand by creating new content and posting regular updates and promotions. 

“(As a director) I love working with others,” said Personale, who is earning a minor in special events management from the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. “I have a passion for customer service, communication and organizing and executing events."

What they'll learn at summer camp

As a virtual event, Camp Carey is free this year. Instead of packing an overnight bag, the only things students need to have are a great attitude and a reliable internet connection.

On June 17, the camp season kicks off with weekly, hour-long drop-in sessions offered at various times throughout the day on Wednesdays. These sessions are affectionally known as WOW (What’s on Wednesdays) sessions

WOW sessions include a campus tour, student panel, "A Day in the Life," book club and W. P. Carey traditions trivia. During this timeframe, additional sessions will be hosted, such as "Meet Your Major," a Netflix party, bingo and W. P. Carey game night. WOW sessions will run between June 17 and July 22. 

On July 29 and Aug. 5, Camp Carey will welcome all W. P. Carey students into a singular session to be welcomed by student leaders, deans, faculty and staff. A keynote speaker will help students build meaningful connections with other students who they will see in their residence halls and classes. There will be team-building, goal-setting activities and icebreakers. First-year students will learn about student clubs and organizations, play fun games and get unique opportunities to engage with their new community.

More than memories

Everyone involved in bringing Camp Carey to first-year students hopes that the virtual experience shows first-year students what the business school is all about.

“I’ve noticed that W. P. Carey reflects the modern business environment. Being collaborative and team-oriented is a skill you can’t get from a textbook,” Personale said. “(W. P. Carey faculty and staff) truly care about their students and want them to be successful, and I’m proud to be a part of Camp Carey, which helps do that.”

Personale also encourages all students — even reluctant ones  to try Camp Carey because she was once in their shoes. “College is a time to explore. I know people get nervous about ‘going to camp,’ but it’s the first chance to step out of your comfort zone in college.”

First-year business students can register for Camp Carey, download the Zoom application and a Camp Carey Zoom background, as well as ask questions by visiting camp-carey.com or emailing campcarey@asu.edu.

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