With over 80% of employers identifying leadership as a quality they look for in hiring, and many graduate schools, including medical schools, assessing candidates based on a variety of leadership competencies, CBS students are highly encouraged to engage in ways that build these skills during their time on campus.
While this can be done in a variety of ways through student organizations on campus, student employment, and community engagement, CBS offers a variety of leadership opportunities within the College.
CBS Ambassadors work as a team to support the College of Biological Sciences by promoting CBS and the University of Minnesota to prospective students and their families, current students, alumni, and the surrounding community. CBS Ambassadors participate in student outreach initiatives, on-campus and virtual recruitment events, and first-year transition programming.
- Biology Colloquium Student Leader
Founded in the 1970's by a group of students, the University of Minnesota Biology Colloquium (BCQ) is a student-led program that helps students explore all areas of biology and careers, and develops student leaders. BCQ Student Leaders play a critical role in facilitating in-class activities and discussions and providing student feedback to those enrolled in BIOL 1020.
- Circle Guides
The CBS Circles program is a professional development opportunity for CBS juniors, seniors, and transfer students. Circles are small groups of students who meet regularly to learn, develop, and connect with one another around a specific topic or goal. Each Circle has a paid facilitator, called a Circle Guide, who initiates the idea for the topic or goal of that Circle.
If you are interested in leading a CBS Circle, keep your eyes open for communication in the BioBrief at the beginning of each semester.
- Nature of Life Peer Mentors & Sophomore Guild Leaders
The Nature of Life program is a signature component of a CBS undergraduate education consisting of the NOL@Itasca program and the Nature of Life course series. In addition to participating in the program, many students also take on leadership roles in the program following the completion of their first year.
During the summer, students have the opportunity to serve as Peer Mentors for the NOL@Itasca program. During the academic year, sophomores can join the Nature of Life team as Sophomore Guild Leaders where they serve as Peer Mentors to a small group of first-year students. There are also opportunities at the junior level for Junior Guild Leaders and Graders. NOL currently recruits for leadership positions directly through the NOL program, usually in February and March; if you are interested in an NOL leadership position, please reach out to with any questions.
- Peer Advisors & Orientation Peer Advisors
CBS Peer Advisors assist students with basic advising questions, serve as a resource to connect CBS students with the CBS Student Services office and campus resources, and support the daily tasks of academic advisors, career coaches, and student engagement staff. Orientation Peer Advisors (OPAs) create a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment for individuals with varied backgrounds, perspectives, and identities so that all incoming students have a positive Orientation experience. OPAs support the summer Orientation program for new CBS students by sharing their personal experiences, assisting with class registration, and connecting students with campus resources.
- Programming Board
The CBS Programming Board coordinates and executes events throughout the year designed to support student wellbeing and foster a welcoming and inclusive community within CBS undergraduate students. As a member of the Programming Board, you will have the opportunity to develop, plan, and execute events for your peers.
- Student Board
The College of Biological Sciences Student Board serves as the main governing body of the undergraduate College of Biological Sciences. They act as a bridge between students, faculty, and staff, and strive to increase communication and collaboration within the overall CBS community. Weekly meetings occur on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:00pm and are open to the CBS community. If you would like to attend a meeting, email for the meeting location.
- Transfer Peer Guides
The Transfer Peer Guide position is a leadership opportunity within CBS and The Nature of Science and Research course, which supports new transfer students in their transition to CBS and prepares transfer students to engage in research while at the University of Minnesota and in future career paths. The Transfer Peer Guides provide vital peer support to new transfer students in their transition to CBS. If you took BIOL 3001 and are interested in the Transfer Peer Guide position, watch for an email in early April about the opportunity to apply.
- Welcome Week Leaders
Before the start of each Fall semester, first-year students participate in Welcome Week to support their transition to the University and College of Biological Sciences. During this week, you can serve as a Welcome Week Leader where you will create a welcoming and inclusive environment on campus, lead a group of first-year students through activities, and facilitate discussions and community building within your group.