The application deadline has passed. We will not accept any applications at this time.
Please make sure to review all of the information below, including the position description and important dates, in order to present the best application possible.
Thinking of Applying?
Each year, a group of enthusiastic, responsible, and aware undergraduate students are selected to help guide incoming students through the transition from high school to college. WUSAs play a key role in making the first-year experience a rewarding, fun, and successful welcome to the WashU community.
As you make your decision to apply, please refer to the following steps.
1. Talk to support systems about the time requirements and experience
We encourage you to talk to support systems or family members regarding your decision to apply. We know that there are many factors that go into applying to a position, and encourage you to make the decision with your campus or personal support systems. If you have any questions about the role, please reach out to your current WUSA.
2. Review the WUSA position description and important dates here
We provide the position description and important dates ahead of time so you can fully plan and envision the scope and commitment required for the WUSA position. Please review the below documents to ensure that you have no conflicts. If there is an anticipated conflict, please reach out to Reggie Gacad and Dacoda Scarlett.
3. What we are looking for in an applicant
- All applicants:
- Exemplify these core attributes:
- Approachable, dependable, dedicated, knowledgeable, respect, empathy, conflict-resolution management, adept communicator, a positive role model
- Exhibit leadership potential and take initiative
- Exhibit strong commitment to the WUSA program
- Exhibit a strong commitment to the University and the First Year Center’s missions
- Exhibit a strong commitment to becoming informed and knowledgeable about the University’s academic policies, procedures, deadlines, and various advising systems
- Exhibit strong interpersonal and group presentation skills
- Possess a genuine concern for others
- Have an open mind and a positive attitude
- Demonstrate the ability to work with a diverse group of people, including students, parents, faculty, and staff
- Be in good standing at the university with regards to discipline history
- Have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher by the end of the spring semester
- First-year applicants must have a 2.75 GPA or higher at the end of their fall semester
- Be an undergraduate at WashU through May 2021
- Students in the Classes of 2022, 2023, and 2024 are invited to apply
- Exemplify these core attributes:
- First-year WUSA applicants:
- All current Washington University undergraduate students in the Classes of 2022, 2023, and 2024 are eligible to apply for this position.
- Transfer WUSA applicants:
- Transfer WUSAs must have transferred from another institution.
- Exchange WUSA applicants:
- Exchange WUSAs must have studied abroad, or are currently studying abroad as an international student.
4. Watch the Recorded WUSA Application Information Session
Information sessions are sessions where applicants learn about the responsibilities and tasks WUSAs complete, including what occurs behind the scenes. In this pre-recorded session, we will discuss the roles and responsibilities of the position as well as our expectations for the 2021-2022 school year.
There will be a 45 minute presentation followed by a 15 minute period where the First Year Center Executives (FYX) will answer some frequently asked questions. Any applicant will have the opportunity to pre-submit questions in advance of the sessions, and FYX, along with the staff in the FYC, will answer your questions.
We recommend watching the recorded information session before submitting your written application.
The First Year Center will also be hosting two Instagram lives on February 9th and February 17th. Three members of the First Year Center Executive Board will be available to answer any questions you have on Instagram at @wufyc.
WUSA Application Process
Our selection process is three-fold: (1) Submitting a written application (2) Individual interview (3) Case Studies. Due to the large number of applicants, the pool will be narrowed after each round. Below contains information regarding each step in the process.
To initiate your application, please complete all steps in Round 1: Written Application. Should you be selected to move on, we will notify you via email if you are moving to Round 2 and Round 3 of our process.
Round 1: Written Application
In order to apply for the WUSA Position, you must complete ALL steps below. Applicants who fail to complete or pass one of the below steps will not be considered for the role.
Step 1: Write out essay responses for WUSA Written Application
The application includes five essay questions. We strongly suggest you download the WUSA application essay questions 2021-2022 and complete them in a word processor. The application must be completed in one sitting. When you are ready to fill out the application form, you can cut and paste your responses into the online form.
Please note, you will need to answer the first 4 questions and the question that relates to the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying to be a Transfer WUSA, you will answer the first 4 questions and the TX (Transfer and Exchange) WUSA specific question. You only need to answer all 6 questions if you are applying for both the First-Year (FY) WUSA Position and the TX WUSA Position.
Some tips for success:
- Abide by the requested word limit (250 words).
- Answer every portion of the question as some have multiple parts.
- Ask a trusted individual to help you review your responses.
Step 2: Ask someone to serve as your Reference
Recommendation forms should be submitted by your reference by Noon on Friday, February 26, 2021.
Recommendations should be completed by a WashU faculty or staff member, current or former supervisor, high school instructor or staff member, or your current RA or WUSA. Other WashU student leaders who are not your current RA or WUSA and family members are not appropriate references for the WUSA position.
The person completing your recommendation should be someone who can speak to your interpersonal skills and work style.
Please send your reference an email with the following information in advance so they have time to complete it:
- A link to the Recommendation Form
- Your student ID number
- Your WUSTL Email Address
When you submit your online application form, you will be asked to submit the name, position title, email address, and phone number of your reference; make sure you have this available when completing your application.
It’s also helpful to send your reference a copy of your resume and a brief summary of why you are applying for the position and what you hope to gain from the experience.
Step 3: Submit online application form by Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at Noon
The application cannot be saved and must be completed in one sitting to avoid losing your information or the form timing out.
We recommend waiting to submit your application until after you have watched the information session as important information will be shared during this session that will assist you in submitting a strong application.
After you submit your application, you will receive an email confirming your application has been received and reminding you to send the recommendation form link to your reference. If you do not receive a confirmation email, your application was not received. If you experience technical difficulties, please contact the First Year Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make sure to leave plenty of time to submit your application–they are time stamped; we are not able to accept late applications.
Please note, we are not able to extend individual interviews to all candidates. It is important to put thought and effort into your written application.
The First Year Center will conduct checks for academic and conduct standing
The First Year Center will conduct academic standing checks which includes reviewing both semester and cumulative GPA. We may additionally call four-year advisers regarding status.
Additionally, the First Year Center refers to Conduct and Community Standards regarding student conduct standing. For more information regarding what this check entails, please refer to the First Year Center Addendum to Good Conduct Standing.
Lastly, due to WUSA’s status as mandatory reporters as a result of their role, the First Year Center refers to the Gender Equity and Title IX Compliance Office for instances of individuals who may not be able to serve as as mandatory reporters.
Email notification for Round 2: Individual Interviews
Applicants will be notified via email no later than Friday, February 26, 2021 at 5:00PM if they are moving to Individual Interviews. Applicants will be notified either way. Please check spam or junk mail if you have not received a notification, or email the First Year Center.
Individuals who are not invited to Round 2: Individual Interview may email the First Year Center for feedback regarding their application.
Round 2: Individual Interview
Individual Interview logistics and information
Applicants who move forward will be invited to sign-up for an individual interview with a student leader on the First Year Center Executive Board and a university staff member.
Sign-ups will be sent via email and applicants are required to sign up for a slot no later than Sunday, February 28 at Noon to accept the offer for an individual interview.
Interviews will take place between Tuesday, March 2, 2021 and Wednesday, March 10, 2021.
Interviews are 20 minute behavior-based interviews where applicants will be asked to share examples of experiences or instances applicable to the questions. Applicants will also be asked to share personal reflection and understanding of the role and department.
Information about business casual dress
We ask applicants to arrive to their interviews in business casual dress. We recognize that dress codes are form of societal oppression and acknowledge that students must learn to navigate these expectations to be successful in future workplaces.
We use this as an opportunity for applicants to practice business casual dress during interviews for the future. We do not take applicant dress in consideration in the process.
We understand that not everyone may own business casual attire. We recommend you try borrowing clothes from a friend or checking the Trading Post located under Gregg Hall.
For examples of business casual attire, please see below:
- Business casual attire includes clothing such as a dress shirt, khakis, a skirt, dress, dress pants, and closed-toed shoes.
- Business casual does not include jeans, leggings, sneakers, shorts, and/or sandals.
Resources to prepare for an individual interview
We encourage applicants to refer to the Career Center for opportunities to practice interviewing skills.
One resource the Career Center provides is Big Interview, an online portal that assists with various interview skills and techniques.
A second resource includes tips around successful interviews skills which includes information about business casual dress.
Additionally, the Career Center offers opportunities to schedule mock interviews through the Career Advisers.
Since the interview will be conducted virtually, it may be helpful to refer to the Career Center’s Tips for Online Interviews.
Sample questions and reflections to help you prepare
Tell us about yourself. We will begin by asking you to share a little about yourself. This should be your 30-60 second elevator pitch –year in school, what you’re studying (if you know), and campus or community involvement. This is an opportunity for us to really get to know you as an individual. We hope you can share meaningful aspects or insights into your life. Please note that the FYC is looking for a diverse pool of applicants, so we want you to present your authentic and genuine self.
What is your understanding of the WUSA role? Before answering this question, you need to fully understand the WUSA position. You should review the position description and reflect on the role’s responsibilities. You will also want to reflect on why you are applying for the role. When answering this question, be as honest as you can. Avoid cliché answers of “I want to help people.” Let the interviewers know more specifically why you want this position. This is an opportunity to explain not only why you want to be a WUSA but also what you can bring to the table. Did you have a positive experience with your WUSA that inspired you to apply? Please share anything and everything that can give us a keen insight into your motivations for applying to the position.
Tell us about a situation you have been involved in where there were individuals who had different opinions than you.
- In this answer, the interviewers are trying to determine how you handle conflicts. As a student leader, you will be working many hours with people who will have different personalities and perspectives from your own and the interviewers want an honest assessment of how you handle these situations.
- Even if the example you give does not have a perfect ending or may show you were at fault, you can use this example to show what you have learned since then and the changes you will make in the future.
- Think about class projects or teams that you have been a part of, roommate conflicts, problems at work, or conflicts that have arisen with customers you have worked with in the past.
- One of your roles as a WUSA may be to manage conflict. We are looking for individuals who are adept at conflict management and resolution. We want to see how you respond to conflict and how you navigate tricky issues that you or your future cohort students may experience.
Describe a time when you needed to seek out academic help for one of your classes. What advice would you give to a student struggling academically? An important role of a WUSA is to direct their students to proper academic resources. Think about places or people you’ve gone for help or would go to if need be. The interviewers want to hear about your understanding of WashU’s resources and how students should access them, as well as the support you would provide for your students struggling with the academic transition. The adjustment from high school to college can be very tricky for many students. We want to hear about your experiences navigating your academic career at WashU since WUSAs play an important role in helping first-year students to access academic resources to find success on campus.
What questions do you have for us? Have 1-2 questions prepared for us. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about the role and what you will be doing throughout the year. Is there something unclear about the position that you want some clarity on?
Tips for success in the individual interview
- If offered an individual interview, sign up for a time that works well for you and affords you time to travel and get settled for the interview. We are not able to interview candidates who arrive late.
- Confirm the date, time, and Zoom Link of your interview.
- Read through the position description. If there is something you would like further clarification on, you can ask at the end of the interview.
- Be thoughtful about how long each of your responses will be. We will ask you 10 questions, the interview is 20 minutes, and we want to include time for you to ask us questions at the end.
- Treat the interview as if it were a job or internship interview.
- Be prepared 10 minutes prior to your scheduled virtual interview time.
- If doing a Zoom interview, log into the Zoom session 2 minutes before the interview begins to ensure your technology is working. If doing a phone interview, have your phone on and ready to receive the phone call.
Email notification for Round 3: Case studies
Applicants will be notified via email no later than Monday, March 15, 2021 at 5:00PM about their status. Applicants will be notified either way. Please check spam or junk mail if you have not received a notification, or email the First Year Center.
Individuals who are not invited to Round 3: Case Studies may consider emailing the First Year Center to set up a feedback session.
Round 3: Case Studies
Applicants who move forward to round 3 will have the opportunity to respond to case studies. In these case studies, applicants will describe their approach, thoughts, and actions towards a certain situation. The goal of this round is to understand how prospective WUSAs can handle different experiences or situations that they may face in their role. We will be evaluating your ability to handle these tasks and work in a way that benefits both you and your WUSA students.
Applicants will have 1 week to respond to these case studies. The deadline will be Monday March 22, 2021 at 9:00 AM to submit responses to the case studies.
Tips for the Case Studies
Applicant should respond to these case studies by putting on the role of both the WUSA in the situation and the people in the situation. The key to finding success in this activity is to think about everyone’s role and perspective in the scenario presented. Think about how each person feels and what is the best way to respond to the situation at hand. Think about if you were placed in the situation how would you act and respond. There is no one set way to answer any of the case studies. Instead, we just want to see your thought process and approach to handling possible situations you may face as a WUSA.
Email notification of WUSA selection
Applicants will be notified via email no later than Friday, April 2, 2021 at 5:00PM if they have been selected as a WUSA or a WUSA alternate.
Applicants will be notified either way. Please check spam or junk mail if you have not received a notification, or email the First Year Center.
Individuals who are not selected to be a WUSA or are selected to serve as an alternate may consider emailing the First Year Center to set up a feedback session.