Student who are who are interested in engaging visitors have the opportunity to serve as First Impressions Internship, or FII. The Interns set a warm, inviting, and friendly tone for visitors of Texas Hillel. An intern is staffed at the front entrance during Texas Hillel operating hours in order to welcome all visitors, whether they are students, parents, program participants, staff members, or even visitors of the House Cafe coffee shop.
“It’s more than just the front desk position. Our slogan is, ‘You never get a second chance at a first impression.’ We want to make people feel extremely welcome and able to ask any questions,” commented Sam Dier, a sophomore International Relations major from Pasadena, California, who will become an Intern Supervisor in the spring.
Students involved with the FII serve as a knowledgeable Jewish resources for students, in that they are always aware of events happening in the building and serve as a point of contact between visitors and the resource they are searching for. FIIs also give tours of the building as needed. FIIs are one of the first points of contact between a visitor and the Texas Hillel community, and their goal is to make all visitors feel as comfortable and welcome as possible. However, they also serve to welcome visitors during other events, such as Shabbat services.
“FIIs are spread throughout dinner and Shabbat services to be with new people and make them feel more comfortable,” said Sammi Donchin, a sophomore Social Work major from Edmond, Oklahoma. “It’s a really great opportunity for me to feel more comfortable at Texas Hillel, and it makes me happy to know that others are coming and becoming more comfortable, and that we are going through it together.”