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  • Orientation Leaders smiling and posing for a photo on the Horseshoe

Orientation Leaders

Each year, hundreds of students apply to represent the University of South Carolina as an Orientation Leader. A summer on our team is a unique experience to foster leadership skills while supporting new Gamecocks and helping them find their place at South Carolina.

The Orientation Leader application is closed.

Applications for the Orientation Leader team open each year in the fall. Follow us on social media and check back here frequently for updates!


What is an Orientation Leader?

An Orientation Leader is an integral part of New Student Orientation at the University of South Carolina. For years they have served as a support system for incoming Gamecocks, all while developing themselves as leaders on campus and beyond. They have the responsibility of representing the university and sharing Gamecock pride with over 8,500 new students and 7,000 family members each year. Download the full position description here.

As a result of being an Orientation Leader, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective leadership based on active reflection, self-evaluation and leadership theory.  
  • Articulate common transitional issues and concerns of students and family members/partners.
  • Apply knowledge of campus resources to support students and families/partners in their transition.  
  • Develop skills related to being a successful member of a team.  
  • Explore individual identities and values, and their effect on leadership.  
  • Recognize how different social identities and experiences affect new student transitions.
  • Facilitate discussions based on the tenets of the Carolinian Creed and their role in the larger Carolina community.  
  • Practice enhanced interpersonal communication skills, including public speaking, active listening, customer service and crisis/conflict management.  
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 
  • Present, facilitate and lead both small and large groups of new students and their guests.
  • Familiarize new students and their supporters with information regarding academics, policies and procedures, campus resources, culture and traditions, building locations and other aspects of life at the University of South Carolina.
  • Help new students and families acclimate to the physical campus by providing customer service and logistical support throughout events hosted by the Office of New Student Orientation.
  • Assist in the preparation of Orientation activities and materials.
  • Participate in weekly training and occasional 1:1s with the Team Leaders and professional staff.
  • Model exceptional leadership and customer service while serving as a role model throughout the contracted term of employment.
  • Attend and engage in the Southern Regional Orientation Workshop (SROW) during the spring semester.
  • Aid in the development and participate in University of South Carolina’s submissions for Song, Skit, Step, Dance (S3D), T-Shirt, Banner, Service Project, and SROWcall competition at SROW. 
  • Facilitate Orientation activities such as small group meetings, connection groups and skits highlighting experiences that new students might encounter in their first year.
  • Provide support to academic advisors as they assist students through the course registration process.
  • Provide additional support for Office of New Student Orientation programs and initiatives.
  • Be flexible, dependable, responsible, energetic and punctua
  • Occasional lifting and carrying of objects under 50 lbs.
  • Other duties as assigned.

The minimum qualifications of an Orientation Leader:

  • Be a current, full-time University of South Carolina undergraduate student who is graduating December 2024 or later (if graduating prior to May 2025, the applicant must meet with an Office of New Student Orientation professional prior to applying).
  • Be in good academic standing and must maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 2.5 (if below a 2.5, the applicant must meet with an Office of New Student Orientation professional prior to applying). In the case of a GPA being below 3.0, student will set up a semesterly meeting with the Student Success Center.
  • Be available to attend all required trainings, workshops. retreats, SROW, all Orientation sessions, and other office events. 
  • Have and maintain good conduct with no outstanding judicial sanctions.  
  • Abide by state and university policies, and the Orientation Leader contract.
  • Be available to hold the position from December 2023 – May 2025.
  • Desire to learn and work with others of diverse backgrounds.
  • Orientation Leader Welcome Social: Nov. 2023 | Date and time TBD
  • Weekly Spring Training: Jan. - Aug. 2024 | Every Wednesday | 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Orientation Leader Retreat (Overnight): Tentatively Jan. 26 - Jan. 28
  • Southern Regional Orientation Workshop (SROW) (Overnight): Thursday, March 7 - Sunday, March 10, 2024
  • Contracted Live-In Period: Estimated May 6 - July 31, 2024
  • Training Camp: Estimated May 6 - May 19
  • Summer Orientation: May - Aug. 2024 | Dates and times TBA
  • New Student Convocation: Aug. 21, 2024
  • Orientation Team Banquet: Sep. 2024 | Date and time TBD
  • 2025 Orientation Leader Recruitment Events: Sep. - Oct. 2024 | Dates and times TBA
  • Attendance at requested events: TBD

Please note that all dates are subject to change. Dates and events may also be added.

Benefits of being an Orientation Leader include:

  • Paid $11/hour during the summer.
  • On-campus housing provided during the summer.
  • University gear, including but not limited to Orientation staff polos, name tags and t-shirts.
  • Meals provided during Training Camp and New Student Orientation.
  • Access to the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center during the summer.
  • Access to the Center for Health and Wellbeing during the summer.
  • Professional development by way of mentorship, trainings and hands-on experiences.
  • Networking opportunities with university staff and fellow student leaders.
  • Gain knowledge of campus resources and services.

How many Orientation Leaders are selected each year?

There is not a specific number of Orientation Leaders we hire. Typically, our team ranges from 45-55 Orientation Leaders.

Do I have to attend an interest meeting in order to apply?

Yes, you must attend an interest meeting in order to apply.

Do I have to be an extrovert to be an Orientation Leader?

No, you do not have to be an extrovert to be an Orientation Leader! South Carolina has a diverse student body, and our Orientation Leader team should represent that.

Preparing to be an Orientation Leader

Through all training opportunities described below, Orientation Leaders will gain substantial knowledge about the university, campus resources and community expectations. Trainings also give Orientation Leaders the opportunity to bond with their fellow teammates and build deeper connections prior to the start of Summer Orientation.

Spring Training follows a leadership development curriculum that includes weekly trainings, a staff retreat and various Sunday workshops. Orientation Leaders will learn about their own leadership style, strengths, weaknesses and communication style, as well as strategies for navigating conflict and creating an inclusive environment for all students. These skills will not only assist Orientation Leaders in their roles, but will also provide rewarding opportunities for professional and personal growth.

Taking place in May, Training Camp is when Orientation Leaders learn about program logistics and campus resources. Orientation Leaders will practice relaying critical information through skits, which are performed during New Student Orientation. After Training Camp, Orientation Leaders leave with an immense knowledge of resources available to students at the University of South Carolina and ways to assist in their transition.

Summer Orientation is when Orientation Leaders get to see their hard work during training pay off. Orientation Leaders create excitement about attending the University of South Carolina, all while welcoming incoming students and their guests to campus. They will facilitate small groups, perform in skits, and assist in the class registration process. 

Furthering your leadership potential 

Following their year as an Orientation Leader, students will have the opportunity to apply for next year’s Orientation team as a Team Leader. Team Leaders serve as critical members of the office staff by assisting with the planning and development of the Orientation program and the Orientation Leader experience.

Additionally, many Orientation Leaders continue to serve South Carolina by becoming Univeristy 101 Peer Leaders, Resident Mentors, members of Student Government, Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants, to name a few.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.