First Year Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find more information about what Orientation Leaders do?
The easiest way is by exploring the rest of this website, but if you have specific questions you can contact us at or at 206-543-4905 (Voice) or 206-207-5564 (Text). We will also be having Information Sessions explaining the leadership opportunities we have available in First Year Programs, including being a FIG Leader during the month of January and posting a recording you can watch at any time! 

What types of characteristics or abilities are you looking for in the Orientation Leader candidates? There is no single set of characteristics or attributes that make up an ideal Orientation Leader. Instead it is important to note that our campus is home to a very diverse student and staff population and our goal is to have our Orientation Leader staff represent that same diversity. Given the nature of the Orientation Leader position, it is also a priority for us to select students who are committed to supporting all entering students and their families, and who can effectively and sincerely share relevant UW resources with new students.

Are Orientation Leaders hired for just the summer, or do they work during the school year as well? Though the majority of the work done by Orientation Leaders occurs during the summer, Orientation Leaders are employed through the academic year as well. There are a number of orientation programs and small meetings that will occur during the academic year, which Orientation Leaders will be expected to attend (your class schedule will be taken into account), as well as Winter Advising and Orientation sessions.

During the summer, what's a typical work week like for Orientation Leaders? The typical summer work week for an Orientation Leader is approximately 35–40 hours a week. Orientation Leader hours vary from about 7am to 9pm depending on the program being presented. 

What's the Orientation Leader selection process like? The Orientation Leader selection process begins with an online application. The purpose of the application is for us to get an idea of who you are and what you are involved in. The application process is a chance for you to tell us the things about yourself you think we should know when considering you for this position. Once our office has reviewed applications, qualified applicants will be invited to take part in a group interview. The group interview is a chance to see how applicants respond to situations or challenges in a group setting. After the group interviews have taken place, a select group of applicants will be invited to take part in an individual interview with First Year Programs staff. Once the individual interviews have been completed, we will make selections for the Spring Quarter Orientation Leader Training class. The selection process is in no way meant to be intimidating; our primary goal is to make sure that we have the opportunity to evaluate all of the candidates from as many perspectives as possible. We hope to give all applicants the chance to exhibit their best qualities and to share how they might contribute to the Orientation Leader staff.

Do Orientation Leaders help during Dawg Daze?  Yes. Work hours may vary during Dawg Daze events, and may extend beyond the normal window of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

Can I take summer classes and be an Orientation Leader? Due to the time commitment involved with being an Orientation Leaders, we ask all summer staff to refrain from enrolling in classes or committing to other jobs outside of our office. The amount of time and energy required running a successful advising and orientation program during the summer does not allow for any other sizable commitments.

Can I be a Resident Adviser and an Orientation Leader at the same time? We are happy to work with first-time or returning RA's to accommodate employment in our office and the housing office.

How are Orientation Leaders trained? Orientation Leaders register for a 3-credit General Studies course in Spring Quarter that meets on Tuesday and Thursday. The course will be credit/no credit and will prepare Orientation Leaders to successfully facilitate an Advising and Orientation program. Orientation Leaders will also be required to attend a 2-day overnight student leadership summit where they will continue planning for the Advising and Orientation program, and develop the team that will carry them through the summer. Training and program preparation concludes the week before A&O sessions begin when Orientation Leaders will take part in an intensive multiple week training days so that they can "fine tune" all of the skills and information they need to be successful.