Be a leader, a CalSO Leader

Be a Leader

Click to the left to get a quick taste of what being a CalSO Leader is all about.

Be a Leader

Click to the left to get a quick taste of what being a CalSO Leader is all about.

  • Find out more about working for CalSO

    What is CalSO?

    The Cal Student Orientation (CalSO) Program is part of New Student Services (NSS). Since the 1960s, CalSO has introduced new undergraduates and their families to the Berkeley campus. In addition to the summer and fall orientations, NSS staff work year-round organizing programs and publications such as Getting Your Bearings, New Student Convocation, Bear Pact, and What's Your Impact.

    The key to our success is the group of continuing Cal students who help implement and facilitate our programs. After all, who knows the new student experience better than those who have already been through it?

  • What do CalSO Leaders do? read more

    Being a CalSO Leader is a commitment to helping new undergraduates and their families with their transition to Berkeley that involves more than working the summer programs:


    CalSO Class (Education 97/197): Starting spring semester all CalSO Leaders must take this course (2 units, P/NP), which meets Wednesdays from 4-6pm. Students learn about campus resources and policies, public speaking skills, advising, how to best work with different populations, and serving as panelists and campus tour guides. Team building exercises, social awareness discussions, goal setting, time management, leadership, and professional work behavior are also a significant portion of the spring training program.

    Training also includes:
    » A 3-day training weekend (January 22-24 for summer 2016) and fun field experiences such as serving as a student representative at receptions for newly admitted students and at Cal Day.
    » Camp CalSO, a two-week intensive training and work session immediately after finals.
    The work

    Summer Orientation Sessions: CalSO Leaders facilitate and lead groups of 10-15 new students or their parents and adult guests during 16 orientation programs in June and July; listen to and address student and parent concerns; explain University procedures and policies; make presentations in front of large groups; and assist with program check-in. This is a full-time committment, working long hours and weekends. The summer has been described as a lot of hard work, but also the most fun summer internship you can imagine.

    Getting Your Bearings: CalSO Leaders help with residence hall move-in, Makeup CalSO, Convocation, and many other GYB events!

    Spring Admit Orientation Sessions: CalSO Leaders work January CalSO and spring start students.

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  • Who joins the CalSO team? read more

    Our goal is to hire students who, as a group, will represent the full spectrum of activities, interests, and experiences of Berkeley students.

    Minimum qualifications

    » Currently registered Berkeley student
    » Good academic standing (2.3+ GPA)
    » Excellent communication and customer service skills
    » Adept at performing independently and as part of a team
    » Capable of working well with a diverse group of people and workstyles
    » Ability to participate in all aspects of staff training including the early spring training weekend, spring semester Education 97/197 course, spring outreach events, and Camp CalSO
    » Available to work all programs in June and July
    » Available to work all Getting Your Bearings events and fall CalSO sessions (graduating senior exempt)

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  • What's in it for you? read more

    First off, this job isn't going to make you rich. However, you will gain valuable experience and skills in public speaking, group facilitation, peer advising, problem solving, and public relations, which will be transferable to any future career. You'll be able to reach out to new students and their families to bolster their confidence and help them take that first big step to Berkeley while performing a critical service for the University. You'll have opportunities to form long-lasting friendships with a diverse and close-knit group of students. And, you'll learn a lot about yourself.


    » Stipends (for 2016: $3650 for the summer and $500 for the fall)
    » Room and board (nine weeks in June and July)
    » Commemorative clothing
    » Other cool surprise swag

    After summer programs are over, CalSO Leaders take a well-earned break and then work during Getting Your Bearings and January CalSO programs.

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  • How does the selection process work? read more

    Preliminary screening of CalSO Leader candidates will be based on the application.


    » Attend an optional information session in late September
    » Application due: October 2nd by noon
    » First round group interviews, mid-October
    » Second-round interviews (individual), November
    » Final notification, mid to late November
    Information Sessions

    These are open to all populations, and we encourage you to attend to gain more information about the position.

    » September 22nd – 5:00PM – Cesar Chavez Building – Transfer Center
    » September 23rd – 5:00PM – Clark Kerr Campus – Building One, lower level
    » September 24th – 12:00PM – 100 Hildebrand Hall, Chemistry Library – Room F
    » September 24th – 12:30-1:30PM - 240 Bechtel
    » September 24th – 5:00PM – Unit 2 – All Purpose Room
    » September 24th – 5:00PM – Unit 3 – All Purpose Room
    » September 29th – 12:00PM – 260 Mulford Hall – CNR Student Resource Center
    » September 29th – 5:00PM – Foothill – TV Lounge Off the Circle Drive between Stern and Foothill

    If you have any questions about the application process, please call New Student Services at 510/642-4970.

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  • More questions? read more

    How do you get more information?

    Attend an information session: see previous section. You can also call us at 510/642-4970, weekdays and speak with a CalSO staff person or contact us by email:

    If you're chosen to be a CalSO Leader, is it possible to work somewhere else or to attend summer school?

    No. CalSO is a full-time position, and you will not have the time. During June and most of July you'll have a weekly commitment of five full days (including some nights and weekends!) of work, and these work days change each week.

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