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The Life of Orientation Leaders At Boise State

Group of students in orange polos smiling and waving

At the start of anyone’s Boise State journey, there’s a lot of questions. Questions that can range from anything to everything. “How do I make friends?” “What hours are the Rec Center open?” “Where can I go if I need help writing an essay?”

And who gets to answer many of these very first questions? For many of us, that happened to be a friendly, eager student donning the iconic orange polo: our Orientation Leaders. “I think the Orientation Leader job is one of the most important jobs here at the university,” says Colby Canaday, a 2022 Orientation Leader and junior studying kinesiology with a pre allied health emphasis from Grangeville, Idaho

Colby in orange polo
Colby Canaday

Orientation Leaders like Colby or Britney Perez, a senior studying criminal justice from right here in Boise, play a massive role in helping new Broncos acclimate to campus. This includes showing students around campus, helping them make friendships and connections, and introducing them to all of the (many) available resources in the summer before students start their first semester.

Britney in orange polo
Britney Perez

One of Britney’s favorite parts of being an Orientation Leader has been building relationships with new students throughout this process and then seeing them flourish in the new school year. “I love to ask about their involvement and their classes and truly seeing them find themselves through their college experience” she said. “It makes me happy because I was there with them to experience their first orientation and now seeing them walk to class and seeing their involvement is rewarding to me.”

Colby even met her best friend through being an Orientation Leader. “She honestly changed me as a person and made this place feel like home. I am so happy that being an Orientation Leader brought us together.”

“I have been a natural born leader my whole life,” Colby said, “but being confident in those skills was always a struggle. All my mentors helped me succeed in that this summer. I can confidently say that I am a lot better at impromptu public speaking due to this job.”

Building these relationships and communicating the information Orientation Leaders become familiar with about Boise State has also helped Britney grow personally and academically. “Before I became an Orientation Leader, I felt that I wasn’t confident enough walking around campus or even raising my hand in class or participating in my classroom. [It’s] made me become confident with talking to big crowds and multitasking. And learning all the resources that Boise State has to offer is great because you get to learn more about your school.”

But being an Orientation Leader isn’t all work all the time. Some of Britney’s best memories from the job were just hanging out with other Orientation Leaders, floating the Boise River, or white water rafting.

If you love Boise State and want to help shape the next generation of Broncos, next summer’s Orientation Leader hiring season is upon us. In retrospect, Britney loved how being an Orientation Leader “is not a typical 9-5 job” and that it’s a very community-based job where you become close with everyone you work with. If you’re on the fence about becoming an Orientation Leader, take Colby’s advice: “Absolutely go for it and don’t be scared to put yourself out there!”

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