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New Student Orientation

Orientation Chairs

Love AU? Have a creative eye? Want to have an amazing summer job? Want to stay in DC for the summer? Apply to be an Orientation Chair (OC)! OCs work behind the scenes to plan and implement orientation and Welcome Week programs and activities.

We will update this site when the recruitment process begins!

Questions? Call or contact Orientation, Transition & Retention at 202.885.3303 or

What is an Orientation, Transition & Retention Orientation Chair?

An Orientation, Transition & Retention (OTR) Orientation Chair is first and foremost, a student leader. OTR OCs assist in the planning and implementation of orientation programs for all new students and their families to American University. In addition to working with new students and families, OCs work closely with many departments on campus. OCs are expected to work part time throughout the spring semester and full time throughout the summer.

Orientation Chairs are responsible for:

  • creating and producing brochures, schedules, and signage;

  • communicating with the university community to coordinate room assignments and audio visual requests;

  • corresponding with administration, faculty, staff and other program participants regarding orientation planning and programming;

  • editing, updating, and distributing publications related to the first-year transition;

  • managing registration systems for all orientation and Welcome Weeks programs;

  • providing excellent customer service and problem-solving to all orientation participants; and

  • participating in the recruitment, hiring, and training of all Orientation Leaders.

Characteristics desired of all Orientation Chairs:

  • work both independently and within in a team environment;

  • troubleshoot and solve problems effectively and efficiently;

  • work effectively with diverse populations;

  • learn and use new and challenging computer programs;

  • demonstrate well developed written, verbal, organizational, time management, and interpersonal communication skills;

  • relate well to students, parents, and the public; and

  • demonstrate leadership, initiative, motivation, professionalism, ingenuity, attention to detail, sense of humor, understanding, compassion, desire to succeed, and strong work ethic.

Quotes from previous Chairs:

My experience working for Orientation, Transition & Retention, first as an Orientation Leader, and then as a Program Chair, provided me with invaluable communication, event planning, organizational and interpersonal skills. The opportunity to claim a stake in each aspect of the planning and execution of orientation programs gave me incredible insight into what it takes to lead successfully. The past few summers were the best of my collegiate career and I hope very student on this campus takes advantage of this unique growing and learning experience.

~ Samantha Green, '09 OL & '10 Chair

OTR taught me goal setting and actionable steps to meet those goals, all while having a great time! I use the skills I learned in OTR everyday, while I teach middle school.

~ Abby Wihl, '09 Chair

There's no better way to get to know American University, it's people, students, offices, and programs than by working for Orientation, Transition & Retention. You'll be an expert insider in no time! Working for Orientation, Transition & Retention is a once in a lifetime experience. You will work harder than you ever thought possible on projects that are multi-faceted and impressively challenging and you'll get to do it all with extraordinary people who will become your best friends.

~ Brookes May, '09 Chair