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Orientation Leaders

Orientation Leaders are engaged, passionate and dedicated students who welcome our new students into the Carolina Community.

Applications for the 2019 OL Team are closed.

Applications for the 2020 Orientation Leader Team will open in the Fall of 2019.


Serving as an Orientation Leader

Orientation Leaders are eager to share their enthusiasm for the university with incoming students and their families. Since 1985, Orientation Leaders have served as mentors, resources and role models for New Gamecocks. They take on the responsibility of representing the University of South Carolina and sharing Gamecock pride with over 6,500 new students and 5,000 family members.

Expectations and Responsibilities

The Office of New Student Orientation expects that Orientation Leaders will:

  • Attend and actively participate in all trainings, orientation sessions and other dates of service.
  • Assist with our initiatives and those of the university, including New Student Convocation, recruitment and move-in events.
  • Serve as a mentor and role model to incoming students.
  • Work as a team with other Orientation Leaders, Team Leaders and our professional staff.
  • Participate and assist with the organization, preparation and implementation of Orientation.
  • Provide customer service to orientation guests by answering questions, providing direction, etc. 
  • Assist advisors in enrolling new students in classes.
  • Facilitate group discussions and activities.
  • Perform skits, vignettes, and an opening welcome for new students during Freshman Orientation sessions.
  • Abide by and reinforce the Carolinian Creed, all university regulations and state laws.
  • Demonstrate the ability to be reliable, responsible, helpful and flexible.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work and communicate effectively with a diverse group of people.
  • Show respect for others and a willingness to appreciate others' views.
  • Exhibit a desire to learn about the university.

In order to be considered for an Orientation Leader position, you must:

  • Be a full-time undergraduate student at the University during the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years.
  • Have abided by all university policies and state laws while a student at the University of South Carolina.
  • Have and maintain good academic standing within your academic college.
  • Have and maintain good conduct with no outstanding judicial sanctions.
  • Have a 2.5 cumulative GPA (if below a 2.5, the applicant must speak with an Office of New Student Orientation professional staff member).

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

  • Serve as a mentor to incoming students.
  • Gain leadership opportunities and professional experience.
  • Network with university staff and fellow student leaders.
  • Gain knowledge of campus resources and services.
  • Receive free on-campus housing during Intensive Training and the duration of Summer Orientation.
  • Receive meals during Intensive Training and Summer Orientation.
  • Gain access to the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center during Summer Orientation.
  • Receive University gear including Orientation staff polos, name tags and t-shirts.
  • Be awarded a leadership stipend of approximately $2,700 (less applicable taxes).
Time Commitment
Fall 2019:
  • Orientation Leader Welcome Social: December 6, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Spring 2018:
  • Weekly training meetings from 4:20 pm-5:50 pm on Tuesday afternoons
  • Orientation Staff Retreat: January 25-27
  • Student Leadership and Diversity Conference: February 2
  • Orientation Staff Training Workshops: February 10, March 3, April 7
  • Southeastern Regional Orientation Workshop (SROW): March 14-17
Summer 2019
  • Intensive Training: May 28- June 7 (Dates subject to change)
  • Summer Orientation: 13 Two-Day Freshman sessions and 5-6 Transfer sessions held in June, July, & August. 2019 Summer Orientation dates are forthcoming and will be communicated when solidified.
  • August Orientations: Dates TBD (Unless University Excused)
  • New Student Convocation: August 21 (Unless University Excused)
Spring 2020
  • January Orientation: Dates TBD (Unless University Excused)


Preparing to be an Orientation Leader

Through all training opportunities, Orientation Leaders are responsible for knowledge about the university, campus resources, and community expectations.  

Spring Training

Spring Training follows a leadership development curriculum that includes weekly trainings, a staff retreat, and Sunday workshops. Orientation Leaders  will learn about their own leadership style, strengths and weaknesses, and communication style, as well as strategies to navigate 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.

Intensive Training

Intensive Training is a 10-day period where Orientation Leaders learn about program logistics and campus resources. Orientation Leaders will practice relaying critical information through skits, which are perfomed during New Student Orientation. After Intensive Training, 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 

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


Application and Selection Process

Selection as an Orientation Leader is both an honor and rewarding opportunity for personal and professional growth. The application process to be an Orientation Leader is competitive. 

Step 1: Interest Meeting

Attend an Interest Meeting to hear from Professional Staff and former Orientation Leaders about what it means to be a part of our office. Learn more about required dates, Spring Training, Intensive Training, and the role during Summer Orientation. These are not required, but highly encouraged. Interest Meetings will be held:

  1. Thursday, 10/4: 5:00-6:00pm (RHUU Room 303)
  2. Wednesday, 10/10: 12:00-1:00pm (RHUU Room 303)
  3. Tuesday, 10/16: 4:00-5:00pm (RHUU Room 303)
Step 2: Application

Complete the online application on our website. The application is an opportunity for the Office of New Student Orientation to learn more about who you are and why you want to be an Orientation Leader. On the application, we will also ask you to provide one recommendation letter from a mentor or supervisor. Applications are due Friday, October 26. Access the application now

Step 3: Group Interview

The ability to serve as a team member is critical to success as an Orientation Leader. The group interview is an opportunity to observe your ability to work as a team. All applicants will sign-up for a group interview after completing the application. Group interviews are October 28 - October 30 in the Russell House University Union.

Step 4: Individual Interview

The individual interview process provides an intimate setting to share your experiences and desire to serve as an Orientation Leader. Should you be selected for an individual interview, you will be invited to select an interview time beginning November 1. Interviews are November 5 - November 9 in the Office of New Student Orientation on the third floor of the Russell House University Union.

Step 5: Selection 

Candidates will be informed of their decision by November 16 through the e-mail submitted in their application. Candidates who were not selected and wish to receive feedback on their interview may request a meeting by emailing

Additional Information

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Orientation Leader application and selection process. If you have further questions, please email

  • There is not a specific number of Orientation Leaders we hire. Typically, our staff ranges from 45-55 Orientation Leaders.
  • You do not have to attend an interest meeting, but it is highly encouraged.
  • You do not have to be an extrovert to be an Orientation Leader! The University of South Carolina has a diverse student body, and our Orientation Leader Team should represent that diversity.
  • Business casual attire is recommended for both group and individual interviews.