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Cornell University

Apply to Be an Orientation Leader

Application opens: March 1 

Application closes: Friday, April 28

Join us for an Interest Session! We’ll talk about the application, the role, and hear from members of the Lead Team.  

    Required Dates 

  •     May 2: Orientation Kickoff, 5-7 PM 
  •     August 12-13: Orientation Training 
  •     August 14-20: New Student Orientation 

    Applicants for this position must: 

  •     be enrolled full-time at Cornell University as an undergraduate student through Fall 2023.
  •     not be serving as an RA for the 2023-2024 academic year.
  •     be in good academic and judicial standing. 
  •     return to Ithaca by August 11, 2023, to be present for Orientation Training. 
  •     have no conflicts the week of New Student Orientation. 

If you have any questions, please email

The Application

  1. Please inform us of any potential conflicts
  2. Submit a Personal Introduction: 

Thank you for your interest in applying to be an Orientation Leader. Part of the application is completing a Personal Introduction. This is your chance to introduce yourself beyond what is on your resume and in your application. Be creative, lean into your interests and strengths, and please reach out if you have any questions. 

Parameters: This piece of your application needs to tell us more about you beyond what we can see in your other materials and give us insight into your “why” for applying to this position. 

  • “Why” - what drives you to apply for this position? What will motivate you while you’re in it? What does the/your purpose feel like in this position?  
  • The personal introduction can be a video, a piece of artwork, a letter, a collage, and anything else you might think of that can introduce us to you.  
  • Along with your submission, please provide a 100+ word description of what your submission is and how it serves to introduce you and your why. 
  • Exception: videos and presentations do not need a description

Accepted submissions:

  • Videos: must not exceed two minutes in length 
  • Artwork: please submit a photograph of your art! If it is 3D, feel free to submit a PDF containing multiple photos of the piece. 
  • Words: this can be a letter to you from someone else, a letter you wrote, a journal entry, and/or any other form of written communication 
  • Should not exceed three full pages 
  • Anything else: below you can find some examples of what has been done in the past. Reach out with any questions you may have to 
  • Examples:
    • Music video parody 
    • Friendship bracelets 
    • A letter from a grandparent (positive or negative) 
    • Original artwork 
    • A sculpture 
    • A video presentation 
    • Collage of important people, places, and things with an explanation 
    • Pinterest board 
    • Song lyrics/poems 
    • A short story 

What if I have an internship that doesn’t end until August 14, can I still be an Orientation Leader? 

Due to the nature of this position and the training the team will undergo, it is imperative that everyone is present for the duration of Orientation Training (8/12-13) to receive all the materials and information they’ll need for the week. 

If I’ve been an OL before, do I need to reapply? 

Yes! Because we are making changes to New Student Orientation and the Orientation Leader programs themselves, it’s important to make sure we all have an understanding of the goals and purpose of these programs! 

If I’ve been an OL before, do I need to come to Orientation Training? 

Yes! As students’ needs change, so does Orientation. We’ll be going over the schedule, talking about responsibilities, running through small groups, and having discussions about evening events, all of which will look different this year. 

If I’m going to be an RA, can I still be an Orientation Leader? 

Due to the overlapping nature of the two positions, RAs are unable to fulfill all of the requirements for being an OL and thus cannot participate in the Orientation Leader experience. 

Will we be provided meals during O Week? 

We commit to providing meals to folks who do not have a meal plan whenever meals are had during the program. We are in the process of exploring what other options are, however at this time, we cannot promise all meals throughout O Week.  

What if I am unsure if I’ll have a conflict until much later in the process? 

Please reach out to us at!  

Does being an Orientation Leader count towards volunteer hours for scholarships and other Cornell programs? 

Yes, it does! Upon completion of the Orientation Leader experience, you can reach out to to begin discussions about this.