Whether you start your college career at Auburn as freshman or as transfer student, some of the first people you meet are your Camp War Eagle (CWE) counselors or Successfully Orientating Students (SOS) orientation leaders.
Often known for teaching Auburn traditions, walking backward and shouting "War Eagle" to one another, CWE and SOS counselors serve as ambassadors for the university. These student's jobs are to welcome incoming students and their parents onto The Plains, ensuring that the transition to Auburn is as smooth as possible.
Whether a Camp War Eagle counselor or an SOS orientation leader, both of these student positions have one thing in common, they are part of the FYE family. FYE, First Year Experience, is the office these two programs are facilitated out of. Also known as "Foy 189," this is the place where CWE and SOS leaders train for months, meet their best friends and develop a newfound love for Auburn University.
Applications for 2016 CWE and SOS counselors are out now and these are the top 5 reasons why you should apply.
Serving as an orientation leader (OL), a camp counselor (CC), or a parent counselor (PC) grants you the opportunity to give back to Auburn. It is a chance to guide students down a scary rode that you once traveled not long ago, to share with others advice that you wish you would have known and to prepare these students for the best four years (or less) of their lives.
Dae Jackson, a senior at Auburn, believes that she was able to play a vital role in shaping the lives of an incoming freshman during her time as a 2014 CWE camp counselor.
“The climate that we build for them and the example that we set is going to shape how they feel about Auburn, their initial reactions and help them decide whether or not they want to get involved," said Jackson. "The information that we share with them and our experiences that we share with them really shapes what they’re going to want to do in the future while they’re here at Auburn.”
"Early is on time, on time is late and late is unacceptable." This is a phrase you will hear often from the FYE staff, but being on time is just one of the valuable lessons you will learn from your experience as an SOS or CWE counselor.
From leading small groups, to giving tours of campus, to engaging in team building exercises, you can rest assured you will have discovered many attributes about yourself and built a variety of useful skills that make you an excellent and confident leader.
Gracie Lenox a 2015 CWE camp counselor said that her experience gave her skills and that she still uses today.
"I’ve been able to use some of the leadership building strategies I learned in (CWE) training in other organizations that I’m in involved," said Lenox. "Being a part of the FYE family helped me become a better leader all over."
CWE and SOS bring together a large group of diverse students from different backgrounds, with different majors and different interests. You have the chance to meet many new people you may have never run into otherwise. With nine training sessions for SOS OLs and 14 training sessions for CWE CCs and PCs, it is almost impossible to not grow close to one another.
Not to mention, the multiple retreats and countless team building exercises you participate in. You get to learn together, grow together and serve Auburn together.
Have you ever wondered why we are called the "Auburn Tigers" or where we got our school colors? Or maybe you are curious as to who exactly who "Shug" and "Jordan" were. Wherever your interests lie, you can be sure that you will have a full understanding of Auburn history, traditions and resources by the time you finish your time as an OL, CC or PC.
"Learning the creed was my favorite part because it wasn’t just memorizing it to recite like some people think, every week we studied a different stanza and did a lesson on it,” said Lenox. “It became something important to me that I actually want to live by.”
Former SOS orientation leader Ross Stephens shared how the FYE office impacted his experience as a student.
"It helped me to understand more of the resources that Auburn offers to students, like the OPCD (Office of Professional and Career Development) and the tiger lab," said Stephens. "Understanding those better gave me a huge advantage as a student."
If the benefits listed above are not enough to convince you to apply for one of these positions, you should know that you do get compensated for your hard work. So yes, you can tell your parents you finally got that job that they have been asking you about since you started school.
However, don't be fooled by a paycheck, an experience like this truly is priceless.
(Photo / Dae Jackson)
Join the Auburn Family! Enroll at Auburn.