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THON Captain Applications Set to Go Live Monday

With THON captain applications open on Monday, it’s time to start thinking about what position you want to go for, and how you want to present yourself.  Unlike when you apply for a committee, you are not guaranteed an interview when you submit your application for captain.  With no guarantee, how you present yourself in the application process is very important.  When overalls are looking through thousands of applications to fill less than 300 positions, if you give a lackluster answer, or say you aren’t available for meetings in the evening, you’re not getting an interview.

Putting thought and care into your application is essential, and shouldn’t be too difficult if you’re applying to be a captain for the right reasons.  (If you have to ask what the right reasons are, you don’t have them).  Here, I’ve laid out some simple tips for the application, as well as a timeline and guide to the whole selection process.

Once it opens, the application can be found here, by logging in with your Penn State access account, and clicking ‘Captain Application’ from the list on the left.

1. Read through the application before starting to fill it out.  It seems dumb when the first few questions are your name and ID number, but this is something that you definitely want to plan for.  Don’t rush to complete the app.  This isn’t your application to Penn State; there is no rolling captain enrollment, stop rushing.

2. Fill out all the information EXCEPT THE ESSAYS.  We’ll get to these later.

3. For your committee and position preferences, make sure to think about what’s best for you.  Choose what suits your skill set and where you can benefit THON the most.  Photojournalist major? PR Photographer.  Part time DJ? Morale or ENT DJ.  Take pleasure in yelling at people to stand up on the concourse and stop avoiding PASS sweeps? R&R Security Leader.  I included a brief list at the end of this article that can guide you towards a committee, and you can check this page for specific position descriptions.

4. For the references, choose two people that have good standing in the THON community.  Past and current overalls and captains are best, your freshman roommate that quit OPP because there was too much bathroom cleaning… Not so much.

5. The essays. If, after all of that, an overall is still reading your application, great.  But here comes the 4th quarter. This is what will set you apart from the other applicants.  This is your chance to show why they should pick you over Hubert Binklestinkles.

Really take your time on these.  Put emotion into it.  This is your appeal for why you should be a captain.  Like I said earlier, if you’re in it for the right reasons this won’t be difficult, but you do have to put your heart into this.  Why do you care about fighting pediatric cancer? Why will you be a great leader for the THON community?

Some things to think about when you’re brainstorming are, why do you want to be a captain for THON?  What qualities do you possess that a THON captain needs to possess?  Use your experiences to demonstrate how you can be an effective captain.  Also, what skills do you possess that will benefit your position? (See number 3, the committee descriptions below, and the captain descriptions)

Also, the essays each have a 3000 character limit.  It’s not a lot.  If you’re like me, you could write pages upon pages about why you want to be a captain, so choose your words carefully.  Don’t waste space on every minor detail; that’s what the interview is for.  But still, be as thorough as possible and get your point across.

Once the essays are finished, have a friend proofread the entire thing and submit it.  It’s due by 5 p.m. on August 31st, both online and in the THON office. Seriously, they close the door on people, so don’t be late.  But inevitably there will be people on the computers in the 2nd floor hallway finishing up.

After about a week or so, every applicant will get a phone call telling them whether or not they got an interview.  Overalls are cool like that.   If you get an interview, be prepared to tell the interviewers why you will make a good captain, why THON is important to you, what goals and ideas you have for the year, and how you plan to help advance THON’s mission.  Again, every interviewee will get a yay or nay phone call a week or so later.

Here is a brief description of each committee.  You can find more in depth descriptions of each committee’s role by going to this page.

  • Communications

COMM is the main liaison to all THON volunteers in the Penn State community.

  • Donor & Alumni Relations

DAR captains are responsible for communicating with Penn State alums as well as small business, corporate, and foundations that donate to THON.

  • Entertainment

ENT captains are responsible for the THON Pep Rally, as well as all of the bands and performances during THON weekend.

  • Family Relations

FR captains are in charge of relations with Four Diamonds families.

  • Finance

Finance captains are responsible for keeping track of all money that is donated to THON.

  • Hospitality

HOS captains are primarily responsible for all food and beverages used during the THON season.

  • Merchandise

Merch captains oversee the THON store at on campus sales throughout the year, as well as handle online orders.

  • Morale

Morale captains are in charge of dancer comfort and support THON weekend.

  • OPPerations

OPP captains are responsible for organizing the set up, tear down, and weekend maintenance of the BJC, and other events throughout the year.

  • Public Relations

PR captains will spread the message of THON through various means like social media, athletic events, and photography.

  • Rules and Regulations

R&R captains are responsible for safety and security for all THON volunteers, 4D families, and guests.

  • Special Events

SE captains will manage various THON events throughout the year like the 5K and Family Carnival.

  • Supply Logistics

SL captains are the main point of contact between companies that donate the materials and products necessary to run THON.

  • Technology

Tech captains work to ensure that the various computer services for THON are maintained and running properly.

*Note: All Tech captains are selected in the spring so you won’t be able to apply now, but keep this in mind next March.

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