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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an orientation leader (OL)? Orientation Leaders are current undergraduate NIU students who facilitate small group discussions with new students, answer questions, provide directions and help ease the transition to NIU during
What is an Orientation Program Intern (OPI)? Orientation Program Interns are current undergraduate NIU students who serve a key function during first-year, transfer and family orientation programs. Orientation Program Interns manage program logistics, answer questions and provide directions to new students and families.
What will I gain by being an OL or an OPI? Lots! Depending on the position, you’re going to significantly increase your leadership and communication skills. You’ll also learn more about working in a small group, conflict management, flexibility, program management, diversity and inclusion and facilitation. These are all key skills employers look for when it’s time for you to find a job! You’ll also meet lots of new people and make friends.
Can I apply for both an OL and OPI positions? Absolutely! On the online application you have the opportunity to select which position(s) you are interested in applying for. You can apply for just one or both!
What are the steps of the interview process? There are four steps in the interview process. Don’t worry, we’ll help you keep track!
  • Attend one 101 Session
  • Complete and submit the online application (go.niu.edu/applytoday)
  • Participate in one group interview
  • If selected, attend one individual interview
Will I need to submit references for the online application? Yes! You’ll have to provide us with two references. One of your references has to be associated with NIU. You’ll have to provide us with their names, email addresses, phone numbers and relationship to you.
Do I get paid to be an OL or OPI? Yes! You’ll get paid an hourly rate during all training sessions (including summer training). Plus, you’ll receive a stipend of $2,000 throughout the summer.
Is it mandatory to attend every training session during the spring and summer? Yes. You are required to attend all training dates listed on the position descriptions. 
Look carefully though; the required training dates vary depending on position.
Is it required that I live in the residence hall during the summer? Yes. It is required for both positions that you to stay in the residence hall during our orientation programs. If you live in an off-campus apartment, you still have to stay in the residence hall. Don’t worry, your room is part of being an OL or OPI so it’s free!
Are there orientation programs on the weekends? No, we don’t have any orientation programs on weekends.
Can I work another job and still be an OL or OPI? If you want, you can have another job off-campus during the weekends or on days that you are not required to work orientation. Due to state and federal laws, you can’t work another NIU (on-campus job) during the summer. You can still work an on-campus job during the spring semester.
Am I allowed to take classes during the summer? Unfortunately, due to the busy schedule for positions, you won’t be allowed to take any class on campus during the summer. If you can, online classes are allowed. You’ll just have to get classes approved by your supervisor first.
Will I be required to work every orientation program during the summer? It depends. Each position will have its own requirements. However, we suggest that you plan to work during all of the orientation dates listed on the position descriptions you selected.
We’ll explain more about our dates during the interview process.