Past Preview Staff Perspectives

Starting the Tradition since 1974

Our student leaders are full of Gator pride! They hold themselves to a high standard and excel both in and out of the classroom. Our students leave their mark on the University of Florida through their experience with the Preview Program. Please click on one of the following students to find out what he or she has to say about their Preview Staff experience.

Renee Marin-Gomez

Grad Year: 2016 | Biology (Pre-Dental) | Sebring, FL

Growing up, there wasn't a dream college, college fund, or even a plan for that matter. Humble beginnings taught me that beads of sweat and hard work would lead to success. As a first generation college student I had no one to ask for advice on what I should do. It was through my individual decisions and actions that paved my way to The University of Florida.

Summer 2015 I was given the privilege to welcome the most brilliant students and families in the country to my new home, the University of Florida. Preview has not just given me a team, but it has given me a family of individuals that have given me the confidence to not just conquer, but to truly define myself.

I would have never thought that my experiences growing up would provide me with valuable knowledge and skills to help new students and families, but this summer I found myself drawing from those experiences in order to aid laying a foundation for a successful transition and career at the University of Florida.

" Your must have an amazing mother because she raised an outstanding young man" - 2015 Preview Family Member (New College Family) Comments from families like these fueled my fire this summer because my mother truly deserves all the credit for molding me into the man today.

Through preview I have been able to find my role as not just a member of team, or student, but as a professional in tomorrow's society.

Amy Price

Grad Year: 2017 | Nursing | Valrico, FL

My entire first year at the University of Florida, I struggled a lot with finding my place. I had been immensely involved in high school with several things I was passionate about, but I did not have the same luck despite several attempts to find my niche during my first year at the University of Florida. Although I still felt comfortable with where I was, I had difficulty with feeling that I belonged… until Preview. What Preview has brought me is something more than words can explain. From the very start, it was clear that this organization, this experience was so different. Having the opportunity to touch the lives of thousands of incoming first years and their loved ones while working alongside forty or so of the most inspiring student leaders of our campus has changed my person so greatly, and ultimately for the better. I have gained a confidence and a comfort that I had never before experienced. I have made connections with students, family members, fellow staffers, and campus partners that I hope will never fade. And, beyond anything, I finally feel like I’ve found myself, as well as my place in my new home away from home.

Danielle Domingo

Grad Year: 2017 | Family, Youth and Community Sciences | Jacksonville, FL

With a heart full of love and a mind full of unforgettable memories from this summer, I can’t quite find the words to describe what Preview is. You welcome over 7,000 incoming students and 10,000+ family members to UF; you work over 60 intense hours each week with 40+ inspiring leaders on campus and encouraging bosses; you laugh, dance, and present more times than one could ever count. All of these numbers equate to one remarkable summer.

The family that I’ve gained is irreplaceable, the love that I’ve gained for this university is through the roof, and the amount of personal and professional growth that I’ve gained through the Preview experience is incredible. Even if you’re just considering applying, you have nothing to lose and so much more to gain. Know your strengths and the areas you excel in and let them shine through during your interview process. Do your best and don’t compare yourself to others. As Mickey Howard always says, “Individuals make individual decisions every day,” so what will YOU decide? APPLY TODAY!

Erin Magliozzi

Grad Year: 2016 | Biology | Parkland, FL

I applied to be a Preview Staffer in order to give back to the University of Florida community by connecting with the newest members of the Gator Nation. The transition to college can be a stressful, scary, and overwhelming time for students and families alike, and I knew I wanted to be a part of comforting and supporting UF's Class of 2019.

Preview is a job that thrives on balance. The long hours are balanced out by incredible conversations with family members and the knowledge that you may have been the difference between a new student feeling terrified or thrilled about starting their life at UF. Passion for the mission of Preview is a necessity. You have to want to be a part of each new student's support system - not just for the summer, but for the entirety of their time at UF.

As a singular event, being a Preview Staffer has been one of the most important opportunities of my college career. No other experience has helped me to grow so quickly and so fully in my confidence, my interpersonal skills, my abilities as a teammate, and my love for the University of Florida. There is simply no other leadership role that allows you to live alongside the team you work with during such a busy, supportive, exciting, and rewarding summer. I am grateful every single day to have been a part of a team that so fully embraced the mission of Preview while also embracing one another.

Sam Hinkes

Grad Year: 2018 | Biology (Pre-Health) | Coral Springs, FL

My freshman year started off without an aim or goal. That was all until I applied to Preview Staff. I then felt a part of something bigger than myself. This group of people has not only pushed me to be the best me but also supported me in every single one of my endeavors and struggles along the way.

If I have any advice for students considering applying to Preview Staff, do it with the most passionate, genuine heart you have. You can’t be anything but yourself. Extroverts and introverts, leaders and observers alike all have the opportunity to make an impact. Whether you make it past Round 1 or all the way through to the time of your life the following summer, you will grow in so many ways that no one can prepare you for.

Preview Staff has without a doubt been the best thing that has ever happened. I have grown so much as a leader, student, teammate, and especially as a person. I’ve learned the importance of flexibility and patience. I have learned to capitalize on your strengths and to rely on the strengths of others to carry you through. I’ve especially learned that a smile, respect, communication, and a positive attitude go a very long way.

Preview is so much more than cheers, tours, and dances. It’s the UF tradition. Everyone that comes through this prestigious university is given a Preview Staffer, a mentor, a friend. Being able to directly impact nearly 200 of my own students and say that I prepared them with the foundation to create their own path at UF has been truly rewarding and so humbling. Beyond that, welcoming over 7,000 students and 10,000 family members to what I can proudly call home is something that I will never forget. I am forever changed.

Ashley Klein

Grad Year: 2017 | Psychology (Pre-Health) | Tarpon Springs, FL

The Preview Staff experience changed my life. I know it sounds cliché and maybe it is, but this experience helped me to realize things about myself that I never knew before. I have been in other leadership roles, but I had never been part of a team in which everyone was equally passionate and equally a leader.

My Staff members pushed me to accomplish tasks from new perspectives and bring energy and excitement to even the most mundane things. My confidence grew immensely throughout the process as I gave presentations, performed in skits, lead tours, and talked to numerous students and family members despite having a speech impediment. The support of my fellow teammates meant everything to me.

Before this summer, I never realized how much fun holding a giant "Restrooms" sign could be. I never knew that a three-minute motivational statement at 6:45 in the morning could make me tear up. I never took the time to think back to every little moment that contributes to the day as a whole. My favorite memories from Preview involve running around barefoot in the rain leading a "Safari" and impressing everyone with my super intense dance moves that appeared "out of nowhere."

For those interested in applying to be a Preview Staffer: go for it. It is an unforgettable experience. My best advice is to remain true to yourself and constantly remember why you want this position. Honestly, during this process there will be times when you are staying up super late, talking to a really angry student, and eating a full meal in less than five minutes. You will ask yourself why you even applied in the first place, but when you look back and think of everything you have gained, the benefits outweigh any and every sacrifice.

Isabella Laughinghouse

Grad Year: 2018 | Business | Brooksville, FL

Ask not what you can do for Preview, but what Preview can do for you.

Preview can take a person from being afraid to make a 5 second announcement in front of 15 people to someone that is comfortable convincing 500 students and families to stand up and chant how great it is to be a Gator. Or a person that normally completes tasks solo to a person that is comfortable relying on a team for support. Long hours, early mornings and the Florida heat is utterly eclipsed by the impact you make on students, friendships you make with your staff and fun you have while doing so.

Also, there’s free food. Lots of it.

Widner Agenor

Grad Year: 2017 | Family, Youth and Community Sciences | Orlando, FL

Words cannot embody the essence of my experience at preview this summer.

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others" Gandhi. That was the quote that kept me grounded this summer. As a Preview staffer it is easy to lose focus of why you applied because of all the task you have to do such as schedule help, directing parents, doing errands, etc. one thing that kept me going is to always remember where I started and the motive behind why I applied.

My advice to anyone who is applying is to come in with a serving mindset because once you do that, everything will be about the students and not yourself.

Jessi Irvine

Grad Year: 2018 | Elementary Education | Newberry, FL

Being a Preview Staffer has taught me that in every moment, there is a choice. Not only do these choices influences actions, but also attitude. As a Staffer, there are many beautifully encouraging moments; however, there were moments of challenge and opportunities for growth. In these very moments, I learned to dig deeper than the surface for positivity and strength. I learned to value the big and small moments with students, family members, and fellow staffers. These experiences shaped my summer into series of rewarding memories and moments of absolute success. When applying for Preview, I told myself that as long as I could impact just one student, in any way, that I would leave the summer happy. After welcoming over seven thousand new students to UF, I discovered this inner choice of choosing kindness and genuineness, I impacted many more than one. Every single day, I got to facilitate students beginning to find themselves as Gators, through academic advising, giving directions, or simply cheering for them during the process. I was able to carry on the tradition of our school, and help others define what it will look like for them. The lessons of myself and others will carry on with me the entire time I am here at UF and beyond. This sort of impact is only once in a lifetime. And despite the numerous cups of coffee, miles of walking, and constant laughter, there is no amount I could possibly attach to the value of this summer. And after experiencing this, in hind sight, my biggest advice would be to be completely genuine and intentional in the application process, every step of the way. With this, the Dean of Students Office can truly see how you can impact students in your own individual way.

Prathna Reddy

Grad Year: 2017 | Business | Palm Beach Gardens, FL

My first year I didn't apply for Preview because I was scared and I convinced myself it was not a freshman friendly position. I thought everyone there was going to be energetic, loud and I would have to try to prove I could do that too. Luckily, I talked to a previous staffer and she told me: "be yourself." It was the best advice. It wasn't about trying to present yourself the way you think a Preview Staffer should be because we are all not overly peppy. Just be yourself and be confident in your abilities! I cannot even imagine where I would be without my entire Preview experience. I will never forget the lessons I learned, the friends I made, and the obstacles I overcame. I am so honored to say that I was apart of the 2015 Preview experience. It's an incredible feeling every time you see a student smiling because you've magically solved their problem or relieved them of their worries! Knowing you make an impact on over 6,500 students is so rewarding. However, there is no greater feeling than realizing you've gained a family at the end of it all. I am so thankful everyday to have met such wonderful people who constantly motivate me to do better, challenge me to go outside my comfort zone, and always inspire me. I now truly know every staffer is unique and there is no set personality type to be a Preview Staffer. What I love about my staff is that I learned so much from other staffers because we all have different personalities, perspectives, and backgrounds. Preview is just an indescribable experience and I can’t express how lucky I am to have done it, but you'll never know unless you try, so don't be afraid to apply. At the very least you'll meet new friends through the recruitment process!

Matt Solomon

Grad Year: 2018 | Criminology (Pre-Law) | Woods Dale, IL

Being a part of the 2015 Preview Staff has positively impacted every facet of my life. I have never felt more intellectually and personally grown by a program, and having the opportunity to personally individualize and improve the first-year experience for UF19 is both phenomenally unique and rewarding. Coming to UF as an out-of-state student, I worried of how I would make the transition to being a full-time college student so far from home. After Fall semester began, I decided to apply to Preview Staff, because of how much I enjoyed my own Preview experience. My Staffer demonstrated the incredible culture of care UF is known for—which sparked my interested in working with incoming students. I felt so comfortable and excited at my Preview, and I wanted to ensure others had the same experience. So, if you're ready to grow as a person, work to improve the lives of others, and gain a family of lifelong best friends—start that application! Go Gators, and Go Preview!

Meaghan Hanley

Grad Year: 2017 | Public Relations | Lake Worth, FL

Challenging. That is the one word I would use to describe my experience as a preview staffer.  Just as with any job, there were the ups and downs.  The hard days pushed the limits of what I thought I could accomplish; the easy days were often few and far between.  You see, the life of a preview staffer is never truly easy, you just get better at the job.  You will always be tested and questioned; your knowledge will be put to the test each and every day.  You will get asked the same question a hundred times but you will answer it with a smile because that is what you are taught to do.  You are trained to be the best and it is expected each time you walk through the door to the Reitz.  Students will fight you to take the classes they want, but not the ones that they need and you will smile while spending hours convincing them that you know what’s best.  You will wake up before the sun rises and go to bed long after the sun sets.  You will sweat off the fresh hair and makeup you applied on your walk over to morning briefing.  And most of all, you will get wet; wet from rain, wet from sweat, and wet from tears.

But it will all be worth it.  You won’t realize how much the summer changes you until the final week.  You won’t realize that while you were trying to impact your students, they were really impacting you. You won’t realize the change professional staff members see in the confidence you exude answering questions. You won’t realize the moment when your coworkers became your friends and when your friends became your family.  You won’t realize any of this because you’re too busy living; living this once in a life time dream that became a reality.  It ok if you don’t realize how special the summer is at first.  Give it time and you will. This summer will change you; it will make you a better version of yourself.  Be proud of that person, because that person is a Preview Staffer.

Michael Cizek

Grad Year: 2018 | Business | Everett, WA

In what other organization can you impact an entire class of incoming Gators?  Where else on campus can you devote 100% of your time and energy into a single outlet?  In what other way can you be the Class of 2020’s first advisor, role model, and friend?  Look no further than Preview.

Being a part of Preview Staff has been the most rewarding, unique, challenging and inspiring experiences I’ve had in my time here at UF.  While Preview Staff can sometimes be made out to be only people with bounds of energy, the ability to do silly dances, and people with way too much pep, it is much more than that.  I’m guilty of being just as over-the-top as any of the other Staffers, but there is more to Preview than what meets the eye.

Preview will challenge you to stretch yourself further than you’ve ever been stretched before.   It challenged me to open my eyes to the differences that make up our diverse campus, it challenged me to be at my best when I felt my worst, and Preview challenged me to work alongside 41 strong leaders while maintaining the equality and integrity of a team.  As a Preview Staffer, I was charged with the responsibility of being a role model for others in one of the most difficult transitions of their lives.

Are you up for the challenge?
If this sounds right up your ally, you’ve got an amazing journey ahead of you!  Just a couple of thoughts to consider while applying and interviewing to become a part of Preview 2016:
1. Be yourself.  As simple as this sounds, being something that you are not is dishonest to both yourself and others.
2. Be thoughtful, but don’t overthink.  Interviewing can be stressful, but there is no need to worry about things out of your control.  Practice your interviewing skills beforehand.
3. Be serious, but have fun.  Professionalism is key to helping students transition, and it is huge while interviewing.  But also know that a well-timed joke is great in easing your interviewers and yourself!
I wish you the best of luck, and look forward to watching YOU discover the tradition as a part of Preview 2016!

Monica Humphries

Grad Year: 2018 | Journalism | Orlando, FL

Going into my freshman year I knew I wanted a family, to have an impact, and discover myself as an individual. Preview Staff has not only changed my course at this university but myself as an individual. I have learned to embrace my strengths and become the true leader I want to be. The impact that I've had on so many students makes the process worth it in itself, but the family I've created, the mentors I've acquired and the connections I’ve made are invaluable. Working alongside 41 other staffers has taught me invaluable lessons and given me some of the best memories of my life. I don’t know how I’m going to survive this fall without my Preview family right by my side but I know they’ve given me the tools to be successful. It’s impossible to conceptualize that fact that I helped welcome over 7,000 students to the University of Florida and met someone of this generations greatest leaders. Yes it takes hard work and commitment to be a staffer, but when you fully dedicate yourself to Preview you leave as a better individual with amazing people by your side. There is no “ideal” staffer so break the mold and give it a shot. Without Preview I wouldn’t of met these 41 incredible individuals or found my best friends on campus. No, I might not be the loudest person in the crowd or the one constantly cheering but the one thing that we all have in common is a desire to have an influence on incoming students. This constant desire is what led me to the greatest experience of my life. The long hours, nights without sleep, hot and khaki pants are all worth this life-changing experience. Individuals make individual decisions every day, so make your decision today.

Nathan Evens

Grad Year: 2017 | Business | Bradenton, FL

Being a Preview Staffer has been one of the highlights of my experience as a student here at the University of Florida. From the outside, I can understand that this may be a difficult concept to grasp—much of the work may seem to include shoving boxes around, telling people to stay on crosswalks, and cheering. Truth be told, those assumptions are…valid. However, the things that have made this position unforgettable lie behind the scenes. We as Staffers have been given countless opportunities to interact with confused students and emotional family members. These moments are not as outward as others, but they are inexplicably more significant.

Throughout my summer serving new students and families I have been able to put fearful parents as ease. I have been able to take lost students who are worried about the unknown and stoke new passions in them. I have been able to do little things like make jokes and play games that have the ability to break the ice and make people’s days better, if only for a moment. Through these interactions I was able to push my limits, grow relationships, resolve conflicts, and find new reasons to truly believe that it is great to be a Florida Gator.

Preview was something that I applied for because I believe that everything happens for a reason. If you can find a bit of interest in the position, go for it. I wanted to see if Preview Staff was something I was meant to do, and without taking that leap of faith I would have never found out. My personal philosophy is to leave nothing on the table—no regrets. Preview Staff has been an incredible experience for me that has changed who I am. If you feel like the position could do something like this for you, I encourage you to apply. The only way to find out is to be bold and take that first step.