Undergraduate Consultant Positions
Spring ’24 Call for Applications: Due Friday, January 26, 2024
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 2024, the Writing Studio will begin its hiring process for 2024-2025 Undergraduate Writing Consultant positions. New undergraduate writing consultants selected through this competitive process will start in August 2024.
Application Deadline: Friday, January 26, 2024 (by 11:59 PM)
“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
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.
Time Commitment: 8 hours per week
2024-2025 Pay: $10.50 per hour (including training and staff meetings)
Start Date: August 13, 2024* (See note below on mandatory August training prior to the fall semester)
Students who are chosen as Undergraduate Writing Consultants for the 2024-2025 academic year will:
- participate in a mandatory, paid four-day August orientation and training on writing and consulting.* (Attending an April orientation session is recommended, but optional.)
- participate in mandatory weekly, full-staff training sessions (“staff meetings”) throughout the academic year, which are held on Wednesdays 9:00-10:00 a.m. and 4:00-5:00 p.m. (consultants commit to attending one or the other).
- consult with individual writers.
- engage in periodic observations and mentoring sessions.
- contribute to ongoing projects when shifts are not fully booked (including updating or developing resources for undergraduate writers).
- visit classrooms across campus to introduce Studio services.
- attend and support Studio special events (such as the Undergraduate Writing Symposium).
- demonstrate engagement with and growth in the position.
*Note on Mandatory August Training
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 the Writing Studio arranges early move-in for all undergraduate writing consultants living on campus.
All applicants should note that our training regularly conflicts with other required trainings or orientation activities, such as those for VUceptors, RAs, Ingram Scholars, and several other campus programs. Applicants faced with such a conflict will be required to choose which program they will commit to.
Opportunities to Learn More: FAQ Resource for Applicants and Information Sessions
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Resource for Potential Applicants
- FAQ about the Undergraduate Writing Consultant Position and Application (Requires VUnetID and password login)
2024 Info Session Dates
- Wednesday, January 17, 6:00-7:00 PM, at the Writing Studio – RSVP in Anchor Link
- Tuesday, January 23, 6:00-7:00 PM at the Writing Studio – RSVP in Anchor Link
Join us for one of two information sessions in January 2024 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.
Applicants can learn a lot from attending an Information Session, but attendance at an info session is NOT required to apply.
Application Requirements and Guidance
Application Deadline: Friday, January 26, 2024 (by 11:59 PM)
The Undergraduate Writing Consultant Application consists of the online application form, a personal statement, and a writing sample. More information on each component can be found below.
1) Online 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 a set of “short answer” questions listed below for your reference.
Application form “Short Answer” questions
- Provide a list of previous experience tutoring, teaching, or other relevant activities.
- Provide a list of relevant writing experiences (including writing-intensive courses as well as interdisciplinary, professional, and non-academic writing).
- Provide a list of on-campus and off-campus jobs you plan to have next academic year (if any). Include the number of hours you plan to work at each
- Provide a list of all extracurricular activities and other regular commitments (including time commitments and your specific role in each).
- Writing Sample Reflection: In a single paragraph, please describe the context in which you produced your writing sample (for instance, the course and prompt) and why you selected it to represent your strengths as a writer.
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)
Personal Statement Prompt: 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.
Writing Sample Reflection: Please note that a short answer question on the online application form will ask you to contextualize your choice of writing sample. This response 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.)
Optional Component: Instructor Nomination
- An instructor nomination is not required to apply:
- Students can and do successful apply each year without being first nominated by an instructor.
- Applicants with and without nominations have the same chance of being invited to our interview stage and of being offered the position.
- While nominations were required prior to spring 2019, now instructor nominations primarily serve as a way for potential applicants to learn about the opportunity to work at the Writing Studio and for faculty to recognize and honor students they believe have the potential to make excellent Undergraduate Writing Consultants.
Advice to Applicants
- Get to know the Writing Studio by getting feedback on your application: Applicants are encouraged to schedule a Writing Studio appointment to get feedback on their application essay and choice of writing sample. Scheduling a writing consultation is also a fantastic opportunity for applicants to familiarize themselves with the Writing Studio and how our consultants approach the task of supporting their fellow students in reaching their writing goals.
- Read over the FAQ about the Undergraduate Writing Consultant Position and Application (Requires VUnetID and password login)
- Apply again! We strongly encourage repeat applications from students who have applied in previous years. We just as strongly encourage repeat applicants to compose a new application essay and update their selection of writing sample. Show us your growth.
Any technical questions or concerns about the application or the web form should be directed to the Writing Studio’s office administrator at email@example.com or 615-343-2225.
Further Questions? For more information, email John Bradley, Director.
Next Steps: Interviews
Students who complete the application requirements by the given deadline may be invited to attend an interview in late February or early March 2024.