The 2014 Application Deadline has passed.
Please check with us next September
for summer 2015 positions.

What is CalSO | What CalSO Leaders do | Who joins the team
CalSO Leader Interviews | What's in it for you | The selection process

CalSO Leaders talk about the job.

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 My Years at Cal, Welcome Activities, New Student Convocation, Overnight Host Program, and Resource.

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?

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, assisting with Tele-BEARS registration, 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:

The work

Summer Orientation Sessions:

CalSO Leaders facilitate and lead groups of 10-15 new students or their parents during 20 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.

Welcome Events:

CalSO Leaders staff the Smooth Transition Tent in late August and work the "Getting Your Bearings" orientation and Welcome Week events including New Student Convocation.

Spring Admit Orientation Sessions:

CalSO Leaders work six orientations for new spring students: five in late fall and one in mid-January.

Who joins the CalSO team?

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

What's in it for you?

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.


After summer programs are over, CalSO Leaders take a well-earned break and then work during Welcome Week and Spring Admit orientation programs.

How does the selection process work?

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


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

More questions?

How do you get more information?

In late September through early October there will be a table in Upper Sproul Plaza where you can talk with former CalSO staff and get the inside scoop. You can also attend an information session. If you want, you can 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?

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.

Contact us

Cal Student Orientation (CalSO) Program
New Student Services
2610 Channing Way, Third Floor, University of California, Berkeley; Berkeley, CA 94720-2272
Phone: 510/642-4970
FAX: 510/643-4395