Orientation Leader (OL)

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Become a 2023 Orientation Leader!

Apply Now!

What is an Orientation Leader (OL)?

The OL position is designed to offer students the opportunity to implement orientation programming for new first year students and family members. OLs are expected to be knowledgeable about the University of Illinois and have a desire to help new students have a successful transition. OLs attend a Spring Leadership Training course to help prepare them to be student leaders for New Student & Family Experiences events. All OLs will assist at various events such as International Student Orientation, Fall Orientation/Welcome Days and various other orientation programs. Opportunities for summer OL work will also be available. More information will be provided in the spring semester.


  • Facilitate large and small group events and discussions
  • Present information accurately and professionally
  • Assist with International Student Orientation, Welcome Days/Fall Orientation, and other events
  • Serve as a resource for incoming first-year students
  • Provide a positive, welcoming attitude to new students
  • Encourage new students to attend all Welcome Day events and future programming
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Performance Expectations

  • Enroll in and complete LEAD 140 — the OL Leadership Development course in the Spring
  • Attend additional events as assigned throughout Spring 2023 and Fall 2023
  • Report to shifts promptly for all programming, training, and events
  • Practice cooperation and cohesiveness during group activities
  • Report all behavior that is harmful or unprofessional to supervisors without fear of retaliation
  • Perform all duties in compliance with employee guidelines and regulations


  • Positive attitude, energetic, welcoming personality
  • Enthusiastic about the University of Illinois
  • Ability to handle numerous tasks that may come up quickly
  • Strong sense of professionalism
  • Desire to enhance interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills
  • Interest in working with a diverse group of students, family, guests, and staff
  • Familiarity with campus resources both academic and extracurricular
  • Successful completion of LEAD 140
Group photo of 2021 Orientation Leaders on the Foellinger Auditorium stairs


Orientation Leaders (OLs) must meet the following criteria:

  • Possess and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher with good academic and disciplinary standing with the University
  • Hold Full-time undergraduate student status (12 credit hours) at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus from Fall 2022, Spring 2023, and returning to Illinois as an undergraduate for Fall 2023
  • Able to work as an Orientation Leader August 12 – August 21
  • Attend and participate in all OL Retreats and Training Sessions


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign orientation programs strive to help student leaders develop their communication, organizational and leadership skills, which help prepare students for life beyond college. We truly believe that serving as Orientation Leader will reward you with many experiences and skills that will help you in your future career and serving as a productive citizen. In addition to these intangible rewards, the Orientation Leader will be provided with a benefits package.

OLs receive the following benefits for their participation with the New Student & Family Experiences:

  • Compensation for time worked at the rate of $14/hr
  • Course credit for LEAD 140
  • Personal and professional relationships with faculty, staff, and making lasting friendship with other students
  • Opportunities to develop communication, problem solving and leadership skills while enhancing your employment marketability and career opportunities
  • New Student Program uniform(s) and fun apparel
  • Food at various events
  • Eligibility to apply to become an Orientation Student Coordinator after completing your OL experience

How do I apply?

Apply Now!


If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Gretchen Forman, Associate Director for the Freshman Experience, at gforman@illinois.edu.