As a graduate student, I went through both the NODA intern process (known as the Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education) and the ACUHO-I intern process (known as the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International). I wanted to go through both these processes for three reasons:
1. I wasn’t sure how many offers I would get from each process. I wanted to get as many offers as possible to have a wide area of experiences to select from.
2. Both processes (my year at least) matched up on the same timeline. It wasn’t like I would be waiting a month to hear back from one process versus the other.
3. I was already working in housing, but I loved orientation. I’d worked in it for about a year before going to grad school, and I was an orientation leader as an undergrad. So I wanted to pepper my resume with a broad range of experiences, in case I wanted to apply to orientation and housing jobs post-grad.
I ended up selecting a NODA internship after the process was said and done, and it was AMAZING! Now, I am working full-time in housing, but I completely appreciate my NODA experience. I have a better understanding of admissions and orientation, and I have been able to create some very strong partnerships between our housing area and our orientation area. I began thinking about my experience going through this process and some things I wish I had known, and some things I now see what colleges and universities go through on the back-end when it comes to this fast-paced schedule.
So, I wanted to share my experience with anyone who is thinking about going through the NODA. If you’re interested, please keep reading below! (Blog post part two on ACUOH-I is coming soon.)
NODA Tips and Advice
While I did have a year of full-time orientation work on my resume when I signed up for the NODA process, this is absolutely NOT necessary! My co-NODA intern had never worked in orientation before. So don’t feel like you can’t apply if you only have experience in one facet of higher education.
Some tips and advice I have for the NODA process/experience:
Talk about skills/experience/training you think would transfer well to the role.
Especially if you don’t have orientation experience, this will be a big help.
Talk to your current orientation office.
See if you can shadow them/help with their orientation process. This can give you a better idea of how orientation works on a day-to-day basis
Research the schools you are applying to for NODA!
Look at their orientation programs, their orientation leader applications, how long the orientation days are, what is included in the orientation. I took the online orientation for my NODA internship’s school before interviewing with them. It gave me a better idea of what their process looks like, and the culture of their orientation office.
Look up the school’s orientation on YouTube.
I found some older videos of my institution’s orientation, and it was so fun to see their cheers, how they did their welcome, and the response from the audience. It gave me something to talk about, and it also gave me more insight into whether or not I would be a good fit for their environment.
Read the benefits/pay information for each position VERY CAREFULLY.
Unlike ACUHO-I, housing is not always guaranteed, or is not always on-campus. My housing was in one of the apartment complexes the university shared with two other institutions. This was lovely, but I also had a car. If you don’t have a car, and are going to apply to out-of-state internships, this is a big factor.
Stay tuned for my part two post on the ACUHO-I process!