Orientation Leader Description

Leave Your Mark as an Orientation Leader

The Golden Bear Orientation Leaders are part of a team that works collaboratively to welcome and orient over 9,000 new students to the UC Berkeley community. Using your unique experiences and perspectives, Orientation Leaders will help guide and mentor incoming students through a multiday program in August. Orientation Leaders will gain facilitation, public speaking, team building, and professional skills that will help not only foster their personal growth, but also help create a memorable experience for their group of incoming students. This is a unique volunteer opportunity to join the community of a passionate New Student Services staff, form close bonds with a diverse student body, carry on Cal traditions, and be a positive influence.

This Student Spotlight gives you a personal perspective!

How to Join

In January, NSS opens the application for the next year's orientation.

Successful Orientation Leaders will have:

  • a genuine desire to represent UC Berkeley and to grow as a student leader
  • a passion for serving others
  • a positive attitude
  • the drive to be a positive role model

Orientation Leaders will guide a small group of students through their Golden Bear Orientation (GBO) experience, helping them explore academic life, involvement, the diverse community, and everything that UC Berkeley has to offer. This volunteer position provides a rewarding opportunity for personal and professional growth. 

What You Get

  • Develop a deeper level of awareness of your strengths.
  • Cultivate an understanding of your leadership style.
  • Practice inclusive communication and facilitation strategies for building connections and community.
  • Increase mindfulness and appreciation of diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and cultures.
  • Develop a tolerance for ambiguity and critical decision-making ability in a complex environment.
  • Learn new knowledge about the UC Berkeley campus, community, and resources.
  • Demonstrate working in a team with fellow Orientation Leaders.
  • Enhance problem-solving skills.


  • Serve as a role model for new students by displaying the responsibility and maturity of an continuing student. This includes adherence to all University guidelines and Housing policies. All GBO training and programming dates are drug and alcohol free.
  • Actively participate in all required events, including meetings, Orientation Leader trainings, move-in and GBO events. See specific dates below. 
  • Create an inclusive and welcoming community for all new students.
  • Facilitate activities and discussions with your small group of students to develop a sense of connection to the UC Berkeley community and to one another.
  • Guide students to various locations and program points throughout GBO.
  • Answer fundamental questions about UC Berkeley student services, facilities, opportunities, and activities.
  • Be prompt, prepared, and positive. Keep Orientation Mentor (direct supervisor) and Student Coordinator informed of special circumstances and/or emergencies.
  • Abide by and reinforce University policies.
  • Promote full participation in GBO.
  • Assist with residence hall move-in and GBO check-in.
  • During GBO in August, you may not be involved in any other outside commitments, including being a Resident Assistant.
  • Live in your permanent housing during Orientation Leader August Training and GBO (housing is not provided).
  • Perform other duties as assigned/requested.

Time Commitment

Spring 2018 

  • Save the dates for training on April 7 (1 to 6 p.m.) and on April 14 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) More details will be emailed to new applicants. 

Summer Preparation

  • Attend Online Orientation Leader Training about campus resources
  • Read On the Same Page book selection

August 2018

  • Complete Orientation Leader August Training, August 10–12
  • Participate fully in all Move-In and GBO activities from August 13–21

Preferred Qualifications  

  • Demonstrate a genuine enthusiasm for, and basic knowledge of, UC Berkeley.
  • Work to solve problems and resolve conflicts effectively.
  • Have a desire to work with new students, support networks, faculty, and staff.
  • Be able to exercise good judgment while keeping the well-being of the participants, the GBO program, and UC Berkeley as a top priority during decision making.
  • Willingness to go above and beyond expectations.
  • Ability to work through stressful situations and handle them appropriately.
  • Have excellent skills in public relations and communication (both written and verbal).
  • Acknowledge and support that Orientation involves constant change, reorganization, and evaluation. Leaders must be flexible and ready to make decisions, to take initiative, and to accept additional responsibilities.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Undergraduate student in good standing with the University possessing a minimum 2.3 cumulative GPA at the time of application and throughout the period of employment. (Note that GPA does not round up, any GPA below a 2.300 [2.299 or below] will be discussed on a case-by-case basis. Grades and conduct records will be checked to ensure the student is in good standing.)
  • Full-time academic status
  • Be able to work well with a diverse group of people and work styles, and to work both independently and as part of a team
Apply to be a leader