You are here: American University Campus Life Orientation Orientation Leader Application

Apply to be an Orientation Leader

Orientation Group Leaders

The Office of Orientation, Transition & Retention is seeking dedicated undergraduate leaders to serve as Orientation Leaders for the 2021 Orientation program. In this position, students are responsible for welcoming and supporting the incoming first-year students, transfer students and their families. The Orientation Team is responsible for leading a variety of sessions and activities within the Orientation program.  

Roles and Responsibilities

Here is a list of specific roles and responsibilities of the Orientation Leader position (for more details, please review the application below):  

  • Small group meetings  

    • Each OL will be assigned a group of first-year students and will be responsible for leading the small group meetings throughout the summer. These sessions will cover important information about AU as well as community building and diversity, equity and inclusion. 

  • Individual student chats  

    • At various points in the summer, the OLs will hold individual one on one meetings with each of their students to provide continued to support and guidance.  

  • August Orientation Programming/All American Welcome  

    • Orientation Leaders will participate in various All American welcome events at the beginning of the academic year, including but not limited to Academic Convocation and Regional Socials.    

  • Administrative Responsibilities 

    • Orientation Leaders will communicate via email, text and other social media outlets with their assigned group of incoming students. Attendance tracking and reporting is also a responsibility of this job.   

  • Orientation Training 

    • OLs are required to attend all training sessions. Training sessions will begin in the spring semester and continue throughout the summer.   

  • Other duties as assigned.  

    • As this orientation program is evolving, other responsibilities of this position may be determined at a later point. There will also be the opportunity for OLs to work with transfer students and families of incoming students.   

Time Commitment/Compensation  

  • Spring Training  

    • Orientation Leader training will begin on Wednesday, March 3rd. OL Training will take place on the following Wednesdays from 11am-1pm via zoom. Please note that there will be other opportunities to engage with the OL team in January and February, leading up to the start of OL training.   

      • Training Dates during the spring semester:  

      March 3rd  

      March 10th  

      March 17th  

      March 24th  

      March 31st  

      April 7th  

    • Orientation Leader training will continue in the summer. Time and date TBD. Please note that summer training sessions will take place during regular business hours.   

    • No training sessions will be held during finals week.  

  • Engagement with the new students will likely begin in April. OLs can anticipate working 2 hours per week in the spring semester (in addition to the required 2 hours per week for training).  

  • Orientation at AU will begin the week of May 17th to the week of August 2nd.  OLs will be required to work all orientation programming beginning in mid-August through All-American welcome.  All-American Welcome begins the week before classes start through the first week of classes. OLs should anticipate working approximately 8 hours per week from May-August. Included in this 8 hours per week is engagement with the students, administrative tasks and staff meetings/training.       

  • Students can hold other part-time positions outside of orientation during the summer. The Orientation Leader position will require some availability during business hours.    

  • OLs will earn $15.00 per hour 

    •  *Earnings are subject to change based on local minimum wage laws and are taxable. Wages earned may impact your financial aid; please check with your financial aid officer prior to applying for the position.  

Required Qualifications  

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

  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate student at American University  
  • Represent American University well at all times, including any off-campus behaviors and social media presences 

  • Must be in good judicial and academic standing with the university 

  • Must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75 

  • Must be available for all trainings, all required online sessions and August orientation programming/All American Welcome  

  • Must exhibit cultural competency and knowledge in topics of diversity, equity and inclusion.  

  • Be prepared and willing to lead and facilitate conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion and other social issues.

  • Display public relation skills and maturity of judgment 

  • 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 

  • Have a desire to welcome new students and their family to campus, while serving as a resource 

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

  • Have access to reliable internet and a web camera for video conferencing 

Application Process 

  • The deadline has been extended! Applications for the Orientation Leader position will open on Monday, November 9th and will close on Monday, November 30th at midnight.    

  • The application is considered complete once you submit your  

    • Online application  

    • Resume (to be emailed to  

    • 2 reference forms (Reference forms will be accepted through Friday, December 4th) 

    • One of your references must be a faculty/staff/administrator at American University 

  • Included in your online application, you will be asked to submit the following:  

Essay Questions: You will be asked to answer 2 prompts in the online application. The recommended word count is between 200-300 words each. We encourage you to prepare your responses in a Word document and copy/paste answers into the online application when ready. Here are the two essay questions:  

  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? 

Personal Introduction Submission: You will be asked to submit a creative piece that showcases your personality. Help us get to know you and tell us who you are. This can be a video submission, digital graphic, etc. You can use Canva, Powerpoint/Google Slides, etc. If you submit a video, please make sure the video is approximately 1 minute long. This can be emailed to  

  • Interviews for the position will be conducted December 7-15th. If you are offered an interview, you will receive a link to select a time. Offers will be sent out via email by December 18th.   

Information Sessions 

We recently hosted two information sessions to discuss the orientation leader position and the selection process. The information sessions were hosted by our student Orientation Chairs, both of whom served as orientation leaders for orientation 2020. View the recorded information session on our Facebook Page.  

For more questions about the Orientation Leader position or the application process, please contact The Office of Orientation, Transition & Retention at