Upperclassmen who want to connect with the incoming freshman class can apply for an Earn Your Wings (EYW) director position, which are open now through Nov. 23. Serving as an EYW director at Oklahoma Christian University provides students with the opportunity to help plan the new-student orientation week, which takes place each August.
According to senior Rachel Parrett, who co-directed EYW with Ezra Emerson last year, the directors oversee interviewing, hiring and managing up to 135 staff members. She said the directors also help create the theme and schedule as well as supervise events throughout the week.
“EYW is a time for our new students to get acclimated to campus, meet upperclassmen, create relationships with one another and make memories,” Parrett said. “The EYW student director position is a unique leadership opportunity here at OC because it gives upperclassmen the opportunity to meet amazing people and be the face of EYW.”
Parrett was an EYW hub leader during her sophomore and junior years, before stepping into the role of co-director her senior year. She said working alongside Emerson has been one of her favorite college memories.
“Our year of directing was different than most because of the transitions happening within Student Life,” Parrett said. “We spent many hours planning events, riding golf carts around campus, doing behind-the-scenes work, speaking, leading staff trainings and enjoying every minute of the week. Being a director for EYW is such a unique role and the memories created with your co-director are something to be cherished.”
Because beginning college can be a scary time for incoming freshmen, Parrett said EYW is designed to help incoming students get to know one another, current students, the Oklahoma Christian campus and several of the student traditions.
“Even the most excited freshmen may experience anxiety when they think about this huge transition,” Parrett said. “EYW is where students develop the confidence and wings needed to fly through the first semester of college.”
Those interested in applying for director should fill out the application online. The Freshmen Experience office will then hold in-person interviews, with directors ideally decided upon by January. According to the Freshman Experience website, students should come to their interview ready to answer the following questions: “What is the main purpose of EYW in your eyes,” “please tell us specifically what you will look for in your assistant directors” and provide “a written outline of what your ideal EYW week would look like.”
Requirements and responsibilities include one year of prior EYW staff experience, a GPA of 2.5, availability for biweekly meetings during the spring semester, availability for online meetings throughout the summer and availability to be at Oklahoma Christian beginning mid-August. More information can be found in student announcements or on posters found throughout campus.
“We are looking for leaders who are responsible, flexible and not afraid to dream big,” Parrett said. “Directors should be people who have a passion for this school and for freshmen.”
Applications for other EYW staff positions will open early next semester once the directors have been selected, Parrett said. The application process will be like that of director.
“EYW, in my opinion, is one of the best weeks of the year,” Parrett said. “We want the freshmen to feel at home at OC and being on EYW staff is a great outlet to make that happen.”