The Orientation Leader Job is an Opportunity to Build Career-Ready Skills

According to a 2019 article, eight leadership skills that will be vital in tomorrow’s workplace include adaptability, transparency, empathy, flexibility, humility, competent and confident communication, emotional intelligence, and commitment to a vision. These skills are critical for success in any career, yet employers say college graduates are too often lacking in these areas. The Society of Human Resource Management reports that 64% of employers find it difficult to find qualified applicants with critical thinking skills, 55% find it difficult to find qualified applicants with interpersonal skills, and 54% find it difficult to find qualified applicants with communication skills.  To be prepared and competitive job applicants, college students must develop leadership skills in addition to the academic preparation they receive.

One such opportunity to develop leadership skills while also earning a competitive wage is the NDSU Orientation Leader job.

Orientation Leaders (OL) are student employees who serve as leaders, mentors, and administrative assistants during summer orientation sessions. Students who serve as OLs learn how to communicate confidently, connect to new students and their families using interpersonal skills, solve unexpected problems creatively, and lead student groups.

We asked a couple of past Orientation Leaders what they gained through their experience and this is what they had to say:

“Learning about my teammates’ enneagrams helped me understand how my co-workers handled situations and how they communicate. It also helped me learn about myself and how I work in a team-like setting…I learned how to effectively communicate with different populations ranging from students to parents and my supervisors. I learned a lot about customer service and knowing how to give GOOD first impressions for not only myself, but NDSU.”

“As an Orientation Leader I really improved my communication skills. Throughout the summer I was able to interact with both students and family members and help them in their transition to NDSU. As a future teacher, the ability to converse with both students and family members will help me greatly. I loved being able to welcome all the incoming students to NDSU, it was truly a fulfilling summer position.”

“As an Orientation Leader, I learned so much about community and service.”

Check out more details about the Orientation Leader position and find the application at

By Seseer Mou-Danha
Seseer Mou-Danha New Student Program Graduate Assistant