Shape the future of Alternative Breaks at W&M!
Two Student Directors provide leadership in each of the following areas: Branch Out National, International and Regional Alternative Breaks. These Student Directors work closely with the Associate Director of Community Engagement to ensure that all alternative breaks fulfill the Branch Out mission.
Student Directors train and advise Site Leaders, provide long-term vision for the program, and oversee operations so that the Branch Out program runs smoothly and effectively. Student Directors serve as part of the Branch Out Student Directors council, meeting weekly with the Associate Director of Community Engagement and other Student Directors for training and collaboration.
Hours and Compensation
This position requires a large time commitment, including weekly meetings (one hour each with the Associate Director and with the other Student Directors), regular trainings and five office hours per week, with some weeks requiring more time. Student Directors are hired in the spring to allow for a transition phase with current student directors, and work through the following academic year. Each Student Director is required to attend the Break Away Alternative Break Citizenship School over the summer, at no cost.
Student Directors are compensated with a stipend of $1,000 per year.
- Significant leadership and community engagement experience. (Experience as a Site Leader is not required.)
- Understanding of the value of education, orientation, training and reorientation in alternative breaks.
- Experience with public speaking, training and peer education.
- Understanding of group dynamics.
- Ability to serve as ambassadors for the Branch Out Alternative Breaks program, contributing their ideas for improvement and publicizing our goals with the campus and beyond.
- Attention to detail and follow-through are critical.
- Student Directors cannot also serve as site leaders in their program, except Branch Out Regional Student Directors, who may serve as site leaders for one trip each semester.
- While this is a student leadership position, it is also an opportunity for you to learn professional skills, and we expect you to practice them in this position.
- Serve as a member of the Student Directors council, collaborating to promote a coordinated Branch Out effort. Attend regular meetings.
- Plan and lead Site Leader trainings and retreats with the Associate Director.
- Serve as advisor to individual alternative breaks, meeting regularly with site leaders to ensure that group meetings are going well and leaders are appropriately preparing and guiding their teams for a successful experience.
- Create and implement campus marketing and publicity for Branch Out.
- Plan Branch Out program-wide events, including reorientation.
- Student Directors must be on campus at William & Mary for the full academic year, and are strongly urged against having other employment.
Additional Responsibilities for Branch Out Regional Student Directors
- Recruit and select Site Leaders, in conjunction with the Associate Director.
- Ensure the completion of eight BOR alternative breaks per year.
- Support Site Leaders in BOR team recruitment and selection.
- If needed, lead one BOR trip each semester.
Additional Responsibilities for Branch Out National Student Directors
- Recruit and select Site Leaders, in conjunction with the Associate Director.
- Confirm all BON sites for the year, including return sites and new sites. Support Site Leaders in coordinating logistics.
- Lead the BON participant selection process, including planning, advertising and assisting with the lottery/application process.
Additional Responsibilities for Branch Out International Student Directors
- Participate in selection of teams for BOI membership with the Associate Director and selection committee.
- Plan and lead letter-writing efforts with the Associate Director.
- Assist with BOI team member recruitment, including publicity, application distribution, review and selection.
Why Should I Apply?
Previous Student Directors share their testimonials:
Being a Branch Out Student Director has been more amazing than I could have ever imagined. My experiences on alternative breaks have changed my life, and it has been even more incredible to be a part of the leadership of this organization. I’ve particularly enjoyed my involvement in program development. Working with such a thoughtful group of students on how we can create initiatives to further promote the values of sustainability and community focus into our alternative breaks has been a real highlight for me. I also enjoyed going to the Break Away Alternative Break Citizenship School (ABCs) to learn about how to run the most effective programs and truly create a movement. (PS the ABCs were at the Grand Canyon!) I’ve also gotten to see the alternative break movement on campus as our participants have shared stories about their experiences and participated in events like the Homecoming Parade and Movement Week. The Student Directors this year have had so much fun bonding and having very thoughtful and meaningful conversations that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I can’t say enough good things about this position and I encourage anyone who is even a little interested to apply!
I would not trade being a Branch Out Student Director for any other opportunity on campus. I’ve worked with some awesome peers and an incredible advisor, and learned so much about facilitation, logistical planning for alternative breaks, and how to build on a nationally-recognized program. Our team’s innovation, collaboration, and support throughout the academic year has continually impressed and encouraged me. Through this position, I’ve come to see what it means to be part of the alternative breaks movement, and how our involvement with community partners enriches their organizations, our campus community, and communities hard-hit by social inequalities across our state, nation, and world. If you are looking for a unique opportunity to merge your unique talents with a love for alternative breaks, apply to be a student director!
Applications should be in a MS Word document, including each of the following three sections:
- On the first page, please include:
- your name
- email address
- cell phone number
- graduation year
- which alternative breaks you’ve participated in, and how (participant/site leader/etc.)
- which position(s) you are interested in: Branch Out Regional, National and/or International.
- Your responses to the following questions. Please limit your answers to one or two paragraphs each, totaling no more than three pages. Feel free to use a bulleted list for appropriate questions.
- Why are you interested in being a Branch Out Student Director? Why are you applying for this particular program (regional, national or international)?
- How do the Branch Out mission and vision resonate with your personal commitments and vision for alternative breaks?
- What skills do you bring to the position? What challenges do you anticipate in the position?
- What are the three most important things you have learned through alternative breaks in the past? How will you communicate these lessons to your site leaders and participants?
- What is the most important aspect of an alternative break to you (e.g., issue education, reflection, reorientation)?
- What two changes or improvements would you make to Branch Out Alternative Breaks, to help us more fully realize our mission? Why?
- What other priorities will you have in the coming year?
- Your resume.
Applications are due via email to [[mcporter, Melody Porter]], on Friday, March 15 at 5 pm. The subject line of your email should read: “Your last name, Your first name, Branch Out SD App.” Please also sign up for an interview on this shared spreadsheet by the time you submit your application. Follow the instructions closely!
Student Directors for 2013-14 begin their work with Branch Out in April, by attending weekly meetings with current Student Directors. Applicants who are currently studying abroad are welcome to apply; interviews will take place via Skype or Google Hangout.