Campus jobs open for leadership — and non-leadership — types

by Jennifer Johnson,

All Willamette students are encouraged to apply for Campus Life jobs.

  • Opening Days leadership

Public speaking makes Holly Walsh ’18 nervous.

Yet for the last two years, the Willamette student has been an Opening Days leader, responsible for helping new students transition to university life. Like other OD team members, she defies the stereotype of a leader. Indeed, she describes herself as a complete introvert who can “play” being an extrovert for a certain period of time.

Despite her natural disposition, Walsh applied for the position to make the same positive difference in new students’ lives that she experienced during her own first day on campus.

Fun, excited and motivated, her OD leaders were committed to making the Willamette experience the best possible for incoming students. An Arizona native, Walsh was new to Oregon’s quirks and didn’t know what to expect from Willamette or college in general. She spent the summer researching online before her arrival — “Oregon/Portland locals never use umbrellas,” said the internet — but even Google has its limits. She says her OD leaders explained campus culture, answered questions “adults wouldn’t necessarily know and you can’t find on college forums” and offered support throughout the year.

“They created an atmosphere that made me feel so much more comfortable,” says Walsh, who is the program coordinator this year. “I was welcomed into this community knowing what campus resources are available and what Willamette is actually about.”

Students can apply for OD and other 2017-18 campus leadership positions by 11:59 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3. After completing one application, they can be considered for multiple jobs in four programs — Jump Start, Opening Days, Resident Advisors and Compass Mentors. Positions range from leading off-campus excursions to helping students navigate first day activities, and all require training.

Lisa Holliday, associate dean of campus life and director of student activities, says any student can succeed in a leadership position.

“No specific personality is required for these positions as there is no one type of Willamette student,” she says.

Leadership positions don’t necessarily require big time commitments, either. For OD and Jump Start, Holliday says that students can control their level of involvement.

Some campus leadership positions also provide experience in higher-impact decision-making, such as hiring employees, and help students improve career-related skills. Walsh, who wants to be a middle school teacher, says she learned how to more effectively communicate.

This year, she dropped her Compass Mentor job to take on the role as OD coordinator.

“I feel I’m at my best while I’m doing it,” she says. “Because I’m focusing on other students instead of myself.”

Compass Mentors

Duties: Engage with an assigned group of about 15-20 College of Liberal Arts first-year students, support their social integration into the WU community
Duration: Part-time position for two semesters
Compensation: $9.95 per hour for up to five hours per week

Residence Advisor

Duties: Help manage crisis or emergency situations, create emotional and physical safe environments for students, create on-campus living and learning communities
Duration: A 20-hour per week position, including some evening/weekend work and weekly team staff meetings.
Compensation: Room and board

Opening Days

Duties: Assist new students with academic advising and registration, participate in activities, prepare small group sessions
Duration: Participate in all activities and events the week of Aug. 19-28
Compensation: Paid meals for the week

Jump Start programs

All programs are intended to build community within or outside of WU 


Duties: Assist mostly new multicultural students in their transition to WU campus and culture.
Duration: Aug. 19-24

Service, Leadership and Sustainability

Duties: Develop an itinerary for community service in Salem and surrounding areas; lead evening activities and reflection
Duration: Aug. 19-24

Steppin’ out

Duties: Explore the outdoors with students and assist them on day hikes, other activities
Duration: Aug. 19-24

Compensation: Free meals and no program costs the duration of all Jump Start programs

Willamette University

University Communications

Waller Hall, Fourth Floor
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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