Orientation Staff Assistant Experience

We asked a few previous staff assistants what it was like to spend the summer on orientation staff. Their responses to each question are included below. 

Q: Why should students apply for the orientation staff assistant position?

Staff assistant with families at picnic

"Being on orientation staff changes your life. It’s such a unique experience. YOU get to be part of the first impression that students have of Northern. YOU get to help them develop a passion and eventually a love for Northern. As an orientation staff assistant, you get to help students become more comfortable with themselves and their surroundings. It’s really rewarding to see students come to orientation the first day and go from hardly saying a word to talking about how much they love Northern and how excited they are for classes to start when they're leaving at the end of the program." - Roy Owensby

"It takes you out of your normal routine - totally out of your comfort zone and any sort of schedule you may have. You never really know what to expect and that's what makes it so thrilling.  I think I learned more about myself in the eight weeks of orientation than I had during my first two years of college." - Carly Kazmierczak

"Before I was on orientation staff, I loved Northern, but I had no idea what NMU was really about. After orientation ended, I realized how much I learned about Northern's community, staff, students and history. It made my respect for Northern and Marquette grow exponentially. It may have only lasted a summer, but I built lifelong relationships." - Saige James


Q: What makes being on orientation staff so much fun and so rewarding? 

campus tour

"Orientation is a fresh start for incoming students. For some students, it's a second chance. Orientation is the beginning of a new life as a Northern student, where students can take calculated risks, follow dreams, begin to live outside of a comfort zone and reach full potential. I love being a part of those new beginnings for students. The three weeks of training before the orientation sessions started prepared us to be as helpful and welcoming as possible. The staff worked hard, had fun and grew tremendously as a team and as individuals." - Lauren Larsen

"I have never worked with a tighter knit team than the people I worked with on orientation staff. I also had the best summer of my college career while I was on staff - we worked really hard and still had plenty of time to enjoy a Marquette summer." - Jon Fancher

"Being on orientation staff was amazing because I got to help incoming students and give them a positive experience like I was given when I came to my orientation as a freshman. Seeing incoming students enjoy themselves and break out of their comfort zone is a great experience." - Olivia Steil


Q: What's it like working as a team with nine other staff assistants, the two assistant directors, the main office staff, etc.? 

orientation staff assistant and parent

"Working on a team is always a learning experience. More than anything, you learn how to encourage others, collaborate with your teammates and be involved with all members of your team." - Sarah Kane

"Being a staff assistant was the best position I’ve had so far in my career. It’s one where a lot of trust is put into you to help get the students attending orientation to feel comfortable. It’s one where your coworkers and you bond and create lasting relationships throughout the summer and throughout the school year. I know a lot of people have said this before, but it’s true, so I’m going to say it again: You make nine new best friends when you work on orientation staff. You naturally become much more than coworkers. Working with the assistant directors is great. They hold you to a high expectation because they know you can fulfill the expectation. The AD's and office staff helped me feel prepared for any question that would come my way." - Roy Owensby


If you have questions about the application process or the orientation staff experience, please call (906-227-1707), email (orient@nmu.edu), or stop by our office (3302 Hedgcock).