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Undergraduate Consultant Positions

Call for Applications

A colorful poster calling for undergraduate writing consultant applications by February 5, 2021, and promoting two info sessions prior to that date that students can learn more about on the Writing Studio website.Are you interested in joining a committed and engaged community of writers who work to support fellow writers? At the Writing Studio, we welcome undergraduate consultant applications from all majors and from students of diverse backgrounds, including individuals from underrepresented minority backgrounds and from students who are multilingual or who have experience supporting language learning. Strong candidates will have excellent communication and collaboration skills and will be highly motivated and eager to continue learning and growing as a writer and consultant.

In January 2021, the Writing Studio will begin its hiring process for 2021-2022 Undergraduate Writing Consultant positions.

All Vanderbilt undergraduates with an overall GPA of 3.5 or better are welcome to apply. See below for application instructions and for ways to learn more.

Application Deadline: Friday, February 5, 2021


POSITION DESCRIPTION

“Working at the Writing Studio is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I know that I can sit down with another student and start helping that student right away. Every paper could use more than one set of eyes looking over it, and it’s incredible how gratifying it feels just to be that second pair of eyes, to spend fifty minutes at a time doing nothing but helping someone. Working at the Writing Studio allows me to make a direct and immediate difference.”
– John Wheeler, Class of 2012

Click here to read more reflections from former Writing Studio consultants.

Writing Consultants work one-on-one with writers at all levels and from all disciplines, assist with outreach by visiting classes to promote the studio, and participate in ongoing staff education and various team projects.

Candidates for the Undergraduate Writing Consultant position should demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills; they must be excellent academic writers, producing strong essays in their disciplines; also, they should be comfortable working with diverse types of writing assignments. Equally important, candidates must have effective interpersonal skills, including the ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds and the ability to engage in constructive dialogue about writing. They should also be flexible, patient, professional, and intellectually curious.

Job Requirements

Time Commitment: 8 hours per week

Pay: $10 per hour (including training and staff meetings)

Students who are chosen as Undergraduate Writing Consultants for the 2021-2022 academic year will:

  1. participate in an April orientation and August training workshops on writing and consulting.*
  2. participate in weekly, full-staff training sessions (“staff meetings”) throughout the academic year.
  3. consult with individual writers.
  4. engage in periodic observations and mentoring sessions.
  5. contribute to ongoing projects when shifts are not fully booked (including updating or developing resources for undergraduate writers).
  6. visit classrooms across campus to introduce Studio services.
  7. attend and support Studio special events (such as the Undergraduate Writing Symposium).
  8. demonstrate engagement with and growth in the position.

*The August training takes place on the Tuesday-Friday (9am-4pm) the week before classes begin each August. Attending the training is mandatory for new consultants, and applicants should note that it regularly conflicts with required trainings or orientation activities for VUceptors, RAs, Ingram Scholars, and several other campus programs, meaning that individuals must choose one to which they will commit.


INFORMATION SESSIONS / APPLICATION WORKSHOPS

Join us for one of two information sessions in January 2020 to hear from current undergraduate consultants, to learn more about the application process and the job itself, and to get your questions answered and begin thinking critically about putting together a strong application.

2021 Online Info Session / Application Workshop Dates

*Please note that the first info session has been rescheduled from its original time on Wed. 1/20.


APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Application Deadline: Friday, February 5, 2021

1) Application Form

All applicants must fill out the online undergraduate writing consultant application form.

In addition to having spaces for you to upload your application essay file and your writing sample file (see below), the application form includes several “short answer” questions asking you to reflect on your choice of writing sample and to list

  • relevant tutoring and teaching experiences
  • relevant writing experiences (including writing-intensive courses as well as interdisciplinary, professional, and non-academic writing)
  • other on-campus and off-campus jobs you anticipate having (or are applying for) next academic year
  • extracurricular activities and other regular commitments you expect to have next year

We recommend using a text document to prepare your application answers and transferring them to the form. Please press the submit button at the bottom of the application form page to complete your application. Applicants will receive a confirmation email when their application has been received.

2) Personal Statement (Application Essay)

Prompt updated for spring 2021: As an applicant, you must submit a personal statement that introduces yourself and draws on your experiences and background to offer, on the one hand, a clear and compelling picture of your interest in and motivation to become an Undergraduate Writing Consultant and, on the other hand, a portrait of how your experiences, skills, and characteristics will contribute to your success as a writing consultant and as a member of the Writing Studio team.

Topics a personal statement might address include (but are not limited to) the following: ways in which your experience and background would contribute to successful consulting; stories of writing successes, but also stories explaining how you faced meaningful writing challenges or which point to your ongoing efforts and awareness of room for continued growth as a writer; experiences that highlight your ability to work effectively with others and their writing; descriptions of relevant writing or work experiences and what you learned from them that you would bring to the Writing Studio as a consultant and team member; relevant personal and/or career goals and how they relate to your interest in the undergraduate writing consultant position.

The recommended length is 500-800 words.

3) Writing Sample

An applicant must include a sample of polished academic writing. The sample should be chosen to showcase your strongest analytical or argumentative writing and should have been produced for a Vanderbilt course (any discipline).

The recommended length is 5-15 pages, but you may submit a longer or shorter piece if you feel it best represents your strengths as a writer. The writing sample, as well as other application materials, will not be returned.

Please note that a short answer question on the online application form will ask you to contextualize your choice of writing sample, which is your chance to help readers of your writer sample understand the class and prompt for which it was produced as well as to highlight what you see as your chosen writing sample’s strengths.

(*While we value creative writing, samples of fiction or poetry are discouraged because in the vast majority of our one-on-one Writing Studio sessions, our consultants offer feedback on traditional analytical and argumentative writing assignments.)

Instructor Nomination (optional)

As of Spring 2019, instructor nominations are no longer a required element of the undergraduate writing consultant application, although they remain a valuable means by which potential applicants can learn about the opportunity to work at the Writing Studio.

Advice to Applicants

Applicants are encouraged to schedule a Writing Studio appointment to get feedback on their application essay and choice of writing sample as well as to familiarize themselves with the Writing Studio and the work our consultants do, in general.

We welcome applications from students who have applied in previous years, but we encourage all to write a new application essay (see the updated prompt) and update their selection of writing sample.

Application Deadline: Friday, February 5, 2021

Any technical questions or concerns about the application or the web form should be directed to Sarah Carter, office administrator, at writing.studio@vanderbilt.edu or 615-343-2225.

Interview

Students who complete the application requirements by the given deadline may be invited to attend an interview in late February or early March 2021.

Questions? For more information, email John Bradley, Director.