Orientation and Welcome Leaders, also known as OWLs for short, are a group of Stevenson University undergraduates who work summers as orientation assistants in the Admissions Office.
According to Molly Hayeslip, Stevenson’s guest-experience coordinator who is in charge of the OWLs, the program was created in 2010 as a collaboration between the Admissions Office, the Office of Student Success and Student Activities.
The OWLs work from May until August. However, OWLs often continue to assist the Admissions Office throughout the school year. As Hayeslip said, “Once an OWL, always an OWL.”
OWLs are responsible for conducting campus tours for potential students. Specifically, OWLs help at orientations, provide support in the Admissions Office, and complete various projects on campus. The primary goal of the group is to represent Stevenson University and the community, and to help new students become acquainted with Stevenson by providing a friendly face.
The OWLs are carefully chosen for being successful and well-rounded students who are rising sophomores,
juniors, or seniors. Their job is to be enthusiastic about Stevenson and all the university has to offer. Within the group, the students represent a variety of majors. According to Hayeslip, the program allows students to work and live together on campus, teaching the OWLs how to balance both work and personal life.
OWLs are selected through a competitive process that helps determine which Stevenson students are fit for the position. Each year, 12 new OWLs are selected, and four OWLs from the previous summer are chosen to be senior OWLs. According to Naomi LeRonde-King, a senior OWL from last summer, the senior OWLs have a leadership role in the program.
After being hired, the 12 new OWLs go through a week-and-a-half-long training process, during which they establish group goals for the upcoming summer. The process helps the OWLs learn how to work together. Situational activities are also completed during the training process to teach the OWLs how to handle any situation that arises. The students also take part in customer service training and learn office etiquette. Lastly, the training process teaches the OWLs how to give a successful campus tour.
While there are no new plans for the OWLs program on the horizon, Hayeslip says the program is always evolving and adapting to what is needed each year.
Students can follow the activities of the OWLs on their Instagram page, @stevenson_owls. Additionally, those interested in becoming a Stevenson OWL can apply online at the Stevenson University employment page.