The Orientation Leader application process has opened at Baldwin Wallace as information sessions have begun. The application process begins with attending one mandatory Orientation Leader Information Session.
“That’s where we explain the positions to students and we do that just so students have a clear understanding of what’s being asked before they invest a lot of time into an application,” said Patty O’Grady, associate director for orientation. “They need to make sure the position will work in their schedule and work for them.”
Orientation Leaders have many responsibilities, but the gist is helping out incoming Baldwin Wallace students in any capacity. Everyone is partnered with a color partner and they plan and execute student training and onboarding sessions, among other tasks.
Morgan Casey, a junior criminal justice and psychology major who took part in all three orientation programs explained that additional tasks, especially during Week of Welcome, include showing first year students where to go and how to get situated.
“Really, it’s just being out and about campus to answer any questions,” Casey said.
Being an orientation leader is considered on-campus employment and depending on which program one chooses, there are different stipend payments. Applicants can choose from the three orientation leader programs: the transition crew, the summer crew, and the Week of Welcome crew.
The transition crew begins work in March through the summer. Anyone applying for the summer position will work throughout the summer. Students working either position will be required to stay on campus during orientation sessions but will also have the option to receive free housing all summer. A Week of Welcome Orientation Leader must only attend a week of training and work the week before the fall semester.
In order to be a part of the transition crew, one must also partake in the summer and Week of Welcome responsibilities. One can choose to only participate in the summer crew if there is a schedule conflict for Week of Welcome, but most students who participate in summer also work during Week of Welcome.
A person can apply to only be a Week of Welcome Orientation Leader.
“If anyone just wanted a taste to see what it’s like, Week of Welcome is an amazing [trial],” Casey said.
Anyone applying for Week of Welcome would only participate in a group orientation interview process.
“[It’s] to see how the student interacts in a group setting, O’Grady said. “For those that are applying for the summer [or transition] position, we move to an individual interview process.”
O’Grady recommends that anyone on the fence about applying should at least attend an orientation informational session.
“I always encourage students if you’re just not sure — and it is pretty early to commit to something next summer — I would say to go with the process,” O’Grady said.
Isa Luciano, an adolescent-to-young adult education and English double major who participated in the summer orientation program said that one thing she learned from the program is “to go for it.”
“Put yourself out there and just try new things,” Luciano said.
Casey has similar advice for people on the fence about applying or unsure if they are good enough.
“It’s better to apply than not to apply,” Casey said. “It’s worth going through the process. It’s really good because it teaches you professionalism just going through the process even if you’re not accepted to anything.”
Like any job, there are advantages and disadvantages. Both Luciano and Casey agree that one disadvantage is that the program takes up the entire summer and can be tiring.
“It does take up a lot more time than you think it does,” Casey said. “At times it’s very draining emotionally and so you have to learn how to balance it. I don’t regret it and I’m doing it again next year but you have to learn your own emotional boundaries and what your cut off is.”
Though there is the disadvantage of time, both Luciano and Casey believe it was an enriching experience.
“I got to spend an entire summer with a bunch of goofy people just making connections and making memories,” Casey said. “This year was probably the most diverse staff we’ve had in probably a long time, with major’s, involvement, ethnicities, identities and everything So, it was really nice to have such a diverse group of people.
“I have acting BFA friends, I have friends that are in the Conservatory. I have friends from this experience that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
Casey said that through the experience she experienced a lot of self-growth. Luciano had similar experiences.
“It was a really rewarding experience,” Luciano said. “I put in a lot and I got a lot out of it. I made a ton of great friendships and relationships through being an orientation leader.”
O’Grady offered a piece of advice to applicants.
“If you do decide to apply we just say to be your genuine self,” O’Grady said. “That’s what we want to see.”
If interested, the orientation information sessions occur on:
Thursday, November 18, 2021, at 9:00 pm, Sandstone 3, Lower Level of the Union (Strosacker Hall)
Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at 3:00 pm, Quarry Room, Lower Level of the Union (Strosacker Hall)
Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at 9:00 pm, Sandstone 3, Lower Level of the Union (Strosacker Hall)