Spartans of UD: Rachel Thorne

Aug 22, 2018 | University Relations staff

Spartans of UD highlights what makes University of Dubuque special – the people who live, work, and study on campus. Rachel Thorne didn’t know a single soul on campus when she arrived at the University of Dubuque. Through New Student Orientation, she made friends and began to feel at home. For the past two years, Rachel, a senior nursing major from Pekin, Illinois, has helped UD’s newest students as a first-year experience mentor. This year she takes on a new role as first-year experience mentor/captain.

Spartans of UD - Rachel Thorne
First-Year Experience Mentor/Captain

1. Why did you volunteer to be a first-year experience mentor?

“I volunteered to be a first-year experience mentor because I know what it's like coming into a school where you don't know anyone. I know for me, it was nice to have my mentor to be a friend but also to have someone I can go to for help with anything. I also love helping people, which is part of my nursing attribute. I want to let the first-year students know that I am here for them if they need help with anything or just need a friend.”

2. What do you enjoy most about being a first-year experience mentor?

“The thing I like most about being a first-year experience mentor is the bond I build with not only the other mentors, but also with the first-year class. You become a team and you are always there for each other beyond orientation week.”

3. What tips do you have for first-year students?

“One tip I have for the first-year students is to not be afraid of asking questions – that is what we, and all other faculty and staff, are here for. Also, get to know your professors. Lastly, get involved! There are so many different sports and clubs you could get involved with and if we don't have it, you can start your own club! This will also help you make friends!”

4. What have you learned from your role as a first-year experience mentor?

“What I have learned from my role as being a first-year experience mentor is how much the first-year students actually look up to their mentors. I know when I was a new student, I went to my mentor for just about everything. Also, I like knowing that I can help first-year students out and make their transition into college a little less stressful and a little less scary.”

5. How did New Student Orientation help you when you were a new student on campus?

“New Student Orientation helped me out immensely. I didn't know a single soul coming to UD. My first friends that I ever made here were in my orientation group. Four years later, I still am close friends with a few of my group members. It was nice to have my group members to kind of lean on. I also didn't have a campus visit before I came, so I didn't know where anything was. My mentor gave me a tour and helped me figure out where all of my classes were. Overall, orientation was a very helpful and informative experience for me!”