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Apply to be an Orientation Leader

Orientation Leaders pose on the Quad with administrators and Clawed, AU's eagle mascot.

Applications are NOW OPEN for the 2024 Orientation program! Learn more about being an Orientation Leader and Orientation Chair below.

Orientation Leader info sessions will be held on Zoom on Tuesday, March 5, at 4 pm and Wednesday, March 6, at 6 pm.

OL Position Description

Interested in welcoming new students to AU? Join the Office of New Student and Family Programs as an Orientation Leader!

Orientation Leaders (OLs) are responsible for welcoming and supporting incoming first-year students, transfer students and their families. The Orientation Team is responsible for leading a variety of sessions and activities within the New Student Orientation program during Welcome Week as well as Extended Orientation programming during the first several weeks of the semester.

Orientation Leaders play a critical role in shaping the first impression for our newest Eagles. OLs help to introduce new students to university resources, to explore our campus and city, and to get to meet other Eagles. OLs literally guide students to events, but also serve as guides and advisors as new students learn how to be successful members of the American University Community

In-person Onboarding (early April) and Leader Training and Event Prep
Orientation leaders begin training in the spring:

  • Attend in-person onboarding and teambuilding in early April.
  • Actively participate in all OL training (August 12 – 16). Schedule to follow.
  • Participate in pre-arrival in-person orientation activities and functions, including preparing materials, working with campus partners, supporting affinity programming, assisting with move-in, engaging in family/guest programming and providing logistical supports. (August 17-18, in shifts).

Orientation Program (August 19– 23)
Orientation Leaders play a critical role in supporting new student orientation events at the beginning of the academic year, including but not limited to:

  • Serve as a guide and point of contact for students throughout the Orientation program
  • Facilitate group activities, such as icebreakers, campus tours, peer panels and Q&A sessions
  • Assist with implementation of campus partner content sessions, DC area excursions and peer-led evening activities
  • Foster a sense of belonging through active engagement with affinity programming, campus dialogues and cohort programming
  • NOTE: This role may involve direct support for Empower AU sessions. If so, appropriate training will be provided during OL training week.

Extended Orientation (Optional, additional work opportunity) (September – October)
Orientation Leaders support students through their initial transition to life at AU. Orientation Leaders plan and lead small group activities through on- and off-campus activities that help students get to know each other, our campus and our local DC community. Recent events have included sightseeing trips, local hikes, sporting events, and on-campus game or craft nights. OLs who sign up for these hours will be compensated additionally at an hourly rate of $17.50.

To be an Orientation Leader, you must meet and follow the requirements below:

  • Enrolled as an undergraduate student at American University having completed at least 24 credits
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75
  • Be in good judicial and academic standing with the university
  • Demonstrate a sincere interest in helping new students and their families/supporters to feel welcomed and supported in their transition to American University
  • Be willing to support activities and programs related to diversity, inclusion, sexual consent and community standards. Training and guidance provided
  • Work well with others and communicate effectively
  • Demonstrate patience, flexibility, strong organizational skills, and a willingness to learn
  • Possess a strong sense of responsibility to manage multiple tasks with little supervision
  • Display public relation skills and maturity of judgment as an ambassador of AU
  • Must exhibit cultural competency and knowledge in topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion

· Be willing to accept a challenge and step out of your comfort zone

As a condition of employment, all Orientation Staff must be available for all required dates and programs. This requires a full-time commitment from August 12 – August 23.

Due to this commitment, OLs may not also serve as RAs (Resident Assistants).

  • Mandatory in-person/on-campus training: August 12 – 16 will require a full-time commitment. This may involve some evening and/or weekend shifts.
  • Move-in and Orientation: August 18 – 23 will require a full-time commitment. This will include evening commitments.
  • Compensation: Orientation Leaders earn up to $1500 for work between August 18 – August 23.
  • Optional - Extended Orientation: OLs will be offered additional hours (with additional compensation) to support evening and weekend programming throughout the first 6-8 weeks of the semester. Details TBA. Compensation for extended orientation is $17.50 per hour.

Note: Earnings are taxable. Wages earned may impact your financial aid; please check with your financial aid officer prior to applying for the position.

Submission of Application Materials (due March 15)
All parts of the application must be completed and submitted by March 15 at 11:59pm. The application is considered complete once you submit all the following documents:

  1. Online Orientation Leader Application in Workday
  2. Resume
  3. 2 References (use this form). At least one of your references must be a faculty/staff/administrator from American University.

NOTE: The application requires you to include short essay responses to two prompts. We encourage you to prepare your responses (200-300 words each) in a Word document in advance so you can upload your answers into the online application with your resume and cover letter. Here are the two prompts:

  1. The Orientation team works with three distinct populations: first-year students, transfer students, and families. During orientation, what do you anticipate are similar needs across all populations? What needs do you think are different or unique for each population and why?
  2. Tell us about a challenge you have faced in your time in college. How would you convey what you have learned from that experience to the students and/or families participating in orientation?

Interviews (March 11-29)
If you are selected for an interview, we will invite you to sign up for a 30-minute interview slot with a panel of New Student and Family Programs staff and campus partners. Interviews are conducted online via Zoom.

Offers (April 1-5)
Selected candidates will be invited to accept the Orientation Leader position via email by April 5.

For more questions about the Orientation Leader position or the application process, please contact New Student and Family Programs at (202) 885-3303 or orientation@american.edu.

OC Position Description

Interested in planning Orientation activities and supporting students and families in their transition to AU? Join the Office of New Student and Family Programs as an Orientation Chair!

Orientation Chairs (OCs) are responsible for the efficient and effective implementation of all New Student and Family Programs projects and goals. Orientation Chairs are responsible for welcoming and supporting incoming first-year students, transfer students and their families. The Orientation Team is responsible for leading a variety of sessions and activities throughout the summer as well as during New Student Orientation/Welcome Week. This support continues with Extended Orientation programming during the first several weeks of the semester.

Being an OC requires a significant commitment and dedication to the work of supporting students and families in their transition to AU. There are 4-6 vacant positions. Please see below a list of possible projects and responsibilities for the OC position. Please note that with the changing nature of the orientation program and growth of the New Student and Family Programs office, there may be more project opportunities and responsibilities. Once hired, the responsibilities below will be divided and shared between OC positions.

Orientation Planning

  • Assist with planning and execution of pre-arrival through in-person orientation activities and functions including preparing materials, working with campus partners, supporting affinity programming, compiling interest/assessment data, supporting logistics
  • Contribute to evaluation and assessment: tracking attendance, compiling evaluation responses, participating in staff debrief. Each OC is responsible for submitting a formal evaluation summary.
  • Each OCs will be assigned a specific portfolio of responsibilities such as: event planning, campus partner programming, preparing digital and print materials, online programming, registration, logistics, excursion planning, affinity program support, leader training, etc.

Orientation Team Management  

  • Serve as team leader responsible for the oversight of a group of orientation leaders (OLs) as well as team motivator for the orientation leaders during pre-arrival, in-person and extended orientation programming
  • Lead orientation leader team meetings throughout the orientation program  
  • Manage OL team communications via email, social media, and other platforms  
  • Manage OL staff bios and photos for website and other promotional outlets  
  • Manage orientation team SharePoint site and orientation team materials  
  • Assist with OL spring/summer training, including planning training activities with professional staff for team bonding and team building
  • Cultivate an inclusive team environment that demonstrates a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Pre-Orientation/Pre-Arrival Programming

  • As a team, OCs share responsibility for covering live chat/zoom hours daily, this includes some evening and Saturday shifts
  • Manage New Student and Family Programs social media accounts
  • Contribute to/participate in the creation of digital content for new students and families
  • Assist with the planning and execution of live, online orientation programs for new students and families
  • As part of the NSFP team, OCs are expected to attend and support programming for families and guests during move-in days (Sunday, August 18 and Monday, August 19) as scheduled.

In-person Leader Training (August 12 – August 16)

  • Execute and facilitate in-person OL training
  • Manage and confirm OL team duties and assignments for the week
  • Serve as point of contact and coordinator of daily orientation activities for OL small team
  • As a team, OCs share responsibilities for leading/facilitating events and activities

New Student Orientation
Orientation Chairs play a critical role in supporting new student orientation events at the beginning of the academic year, including but not limited to:

  • Serve as a guide and point of contact for Orientation Leaders throughout the Orientation program
  • Plan and facilitate group activities, such as icebreakers, campus tours, peer panels and Q&A sessions
  • Assist with implementation of campus partner content sessions, DC area excursions and peer-led evening activities
  • Foster a sense of belonging through active engagement with affinity programming, campus dialogues and cohort programming

Extended Orientation (Optional, additional work opportunity) (September – October)
Orientation Chairs support students through their initial transition to life at AU. Orientation Chairs plan and execute small group activities through on- and off-campus activities that help students get to know each other, our campus and our local DC community. Recent events have included sightseeing trips, local hikes, sporting events, and on-campus game or craft nights. OCs who sign up for these hours will be compensated additionally at an hourly rate of $18.00. 

All Chairs work together as members of the New Student and Family Programs staff. The qualifications, requirements and compensation are consistent for each position.

To be an Orientation Chair, you must meet and follow the requirements below:

  • Enrolled as an undergraduate student at American University having completed at least 30 credits
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 
  • Be in good judicial and academic standing with the university 
  • Demonstrate a sincere interest in helping new students and their families/supporters to feel welcomed and supported in their transition to American University
  • Be willing to support activities and programs related to diversity, inclusion, sexual consent and community standards. Training and guidance provided. 
  • Work well with others and communicate effectively 
  • Demonstrate patience, flexibility, strong organizational skills, and a willingness to learn 
  • Possess a strong sense of responsibility to manage multiple tasks with little supervision 
  • Display public relation skills and maturity of judgment as an ambassador of AU
  • Must exhibit cultural competency and knowledge in topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Be willing to accept a challenge and step out of your comfort zone  

Orientation Chairs must be able to:

  • Work both independently and within a team environment 
  • Troubleshoot and solve problems effectively and efficiently 
  • Work effectively with diverse populations 
  • Learn and use new and challenging computer programs 
  • Demonstrate excellent written, verbal, organizational, time management, and interpersonal communication skills 
  • Relate well to students, families, AU staff, and the public 
  • Demonstrate leadership, initiative, motivation, professionalism, ingenuity, attention to detail, understanding, compassion, desire to succeed, and strong work ethic 
  • Carry out other duties as assigned
  • OCs can work approximately 8-10hrs per week in the spring semester and 10-15 hours per week in the summer months from mid-May through early September
  • OCs are expected to attend weekly staff meetings, all training programs, New Student Orientation programs, and Welcome Week programs 

Because of these commitments, OCs cannot be concurrently employed as a Residential Assistant (RA) or a Conference Staff while serving as an OC.

  • Mandatory in-person/on-campus training: August 12 – 16 will require a full-time commitment. This may involve some evening and/or weekend shifts. (Compensation for training week: $1000)
  • Move-in and Orientation: August 18 – 23 will require a full-time commitment. This will include evening commitments. (Compensation for move-in/NSO week: $1000)
  • Extended Orientation: OCs will be offered additional hours (with additional compensation) to evening and weekend programming throughout the first 6-8 weeks of the semester. Details TBA.
  • Compensation: Orientation Chairs earn $18.00 per hour through June 30 and $18.50 beginning July 1, 2024. Note: Earnings are taxable. Wages earned may impact your financial aid; please check with your financial aid officer prior to applying for the position.

Submission of Application Materials (due March 15)
All parts of the application must be completed and submitted by March 15 at 11:59pm. The application is considered complete once you submit all the following documents:

  1. Online Orientation Chair Application in Workday
  2. Resume
  3. 2 References (use this form). At least one of your references must be a faculty/staff/administrator from American University.

NOTE: The application requires you to include short essay responses to two prompts. We encourage you to prepare your responses (200-300 words each) in a Word document in advance so you can upload your answers into the online application with your resume and cover letter. Here are the two prompts:

  1. The Orientation team works with three distinct populations: first-year students, transfer students, and families. During orientation, what do you anticipate are similar needs across all populations? What needs do you think are different or unique for each population and why?
  2. Tell us about a challenge you have faced in your time in college. How would you convey what you have learned from that experience to the students and/or families participating in orientation?

Interviews
If you are selected for an interview, we will invite you to sign up for a 30-minute interview slot with a panel of New Student and Family Programs staff and campus partners. Interviews are conducted online via Zoom.

Offers
Selected candidates will be invited to accept the Orientation Chair position via email by April 5. 

For more questions about the Orientation Leader position or the application process, please contact New Student and Family Programs at (202) 885-3303 or orientation@american.edu.

2024 OL Info Sessions

Session 1:
Tuesday, March 5
4 pm, join on Zoom

Session 2:
Wednesday, March 6
6 pm, join on Zoom

An Orientation Leader speaks to new AU students at a New Eagle Stop.

Welcome Week

Orientation Leaders support incoming students during Welcome Week as they get to know AU through events and activities.

Learn more