Due to technical difficulties, we have extended the application period until Friday, January 31st at noon. We will not accept any applications after that 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.

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.

First-year WUSA Position Description

Transfer or Exchange WUSA Position Description

3. What we are looking for in an applicant

  • All applicants:
    • Exemplify these core attributes:
      • Approachable, dependable, dedicated, knowledgeable, 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 2021, 2022, and 2023 are invited to apply
  • First-year WUSA applicants:
    • All current Washington University undergraduate students in the Classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 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.

WUSA Application Process

Our selection process is three-fold: (1) Submitting a written application (2) Individual interview (3) Group Interview. 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: Attend a Mandatory Applicant Meeting

Mandatory Applicant Meetings (MAMs) are sessions where applicants learn about responsibilities and tasks WUSAs complete, including what goes on behind the scenes.

There will be a 45 minute presentation followed by a 15 minute period to ask the First Year Center Executive Board (FYX) and First Year Center professional staff any questions regarding conflicts or concerns about the position description and required dates.

Dates and locations for MAMs include the following:

  • Sunday, November 17th at 2-3 PM in Seigle L006
  • Wednesday, November 20th at 5-6 PM in Mudd Multipurpose Room
  • Thursday, November 21st at 5-6 PM in Simon Hall, Room 1
  • Sunday, November 24th at 2-3 PM in Ursa’s Fireside
  • Monday, December 2nd at 5-6 PM in Siegle L003
  • Wednesday, December 4th at 5-6 PM in the Village Dining Room
  • Thursday, December 5th at 5-6 PM in DUC 233
  • Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 5–6 PM in Ursa’s Fireside
  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 5-6 PM in Ursa’s Fireside
  • Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 2-3 PM in DUC 234
  • Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 5-6 PM in Ursa’s Fireside
  • Monday, January 27, 2020 at 8-7 PM in DUC 239 (we added this as a result of feedback and requests from applicants) 
  • Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 2-3 PM in Ursa’s Stageside (we added this as a result of feedback and requests from applicants) 

If you do not attend a Mandatory Applicant Meeting your written application will not be reviewed.

Please arrive to the meeting a few minutes early to sign in as we will begin promptly on the hour.

Step 2: Ask one reference to complete the WUSA Recommendation Form

Recommendation forms are due by Noon on Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

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 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:

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: Write out essay responses for WUSA Written Application

The application includes five essay questions. We strongly suggest you download the WUSA application essay questions 2020-2021 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

Step 4: Submit online application form by Friday, January 31, 2020 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 attended a Mandatory Applicant Meeting 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 firstyearcenter@wustl.edu.

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 Title IX 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 Wednesday, February 5, 2020 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 9 at Noon to accept the offer for an individual interview.

Interviews will take place between February 12, 2020 and February 19, 2020.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 location 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.
  • Arrive 10 minutes early to the interview.
  • Find the interview location a day or so before it takes place to ensure you don’t get lost and arrive on time, relaxed, and prepared to shine.

Email notification for Round 3: Group Interviews

Applicants will be notified via email no later than Monday, February 24, 2020 at 5:00PM if they are moving to Group 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 3: Group Interview may consider emailing the First Year Center to set up an in-person feedback session.

Round 3: Group Interview

Group interview logistics and information

Applicants who move forward will be invited to sign-up for a group interview. 

Sign-ups will be sent via email and applicants are required to sign up for a slot no later than Tuesday, February 25 at 9:00AM to accept the offer for an individual interview.

Interviews will take place between February 26, 2020 and February 29, 2020.

Interviews are 2 hours and include a welcome, an icebreaker activity, four 15-minute interview activities in groups of 5 – 7, and a closing. 

Applicants will be asked to read prompts or scenarios, converse with each other, make decisions, and work together. Applicants may be asked to share group or personal reasoning.

Applicants needing accommodations can email the First Year Center to ensure we are able to provide you access to materials for your success.

Information about business casual dress

We ask applicants to arrive to their group interview 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.

Tips for success in the group interview

  • Candidates will be participating in a series of group activities with four to five other applicants designed to assess how you work with a team. The series might include games, discussions, or other small group activities. Often the activities have time to share instructions and goals at the beginning, an amount of time to work together, and a wrap-up time at the end.
  • Enjoy the time with your team! Listen, engage with others, and collaborate.
  • Don’t stress about the evaluators. Three to five evaluators will be observing and taking notes but try not to focus on them. They are taking notes about engagement within the group and do not expect you to address them during group activities.
  • Dress in business casual attire. While you will be doing a variety of activities during the group interview, you will be seated in desks working with others. You will not be asked to sit on the floor during the activities.

Email notification of WUSA selection

Applicants will be notified via email no later than Monday, March 9, 2020 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 an in-person feedback session.