Berger Institute Experiences / What I've Learned

When “They” Became “We”

by Lauren Livingston ’18

As a first-semester sophomore and the newest, youngest member of the Work-Life team, I had various concerns about transitioning and adding value to the team. At the beginning of the year, walking into the first team meeting was a daunting experience. How was I going to fit in? What was I going to do?

The team was already relatively established, consisting of two seniors and one alum, all of them with years of experience. Over the years, they had worked together and developed a strong team dynamic through their long nights and their successes. I joined the institute without any prior experience or knowledge about their current project and their members. However, to my delightful surprise, the minute I walked into the first meeting they spent the first hour explaining the project in­ depth to me and then updating me on their newest idea. In addition, I was immediately given an assignment to help the project by coding free response survey data.

Since the first meeting, the team has kept me continuously involved in everyone’s project and asked for my feedback. From my experiences and interactions with the members, I have learned that the authenticity of the Berger Institute is reflected by individual members’ internal drive to research their passions. I have also been given the opportunity to perceive the Berger Institute as an inclusive, ambitious, and academic community.

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