Published: Jan. 12, 2022

Leadership comes in different forms and finding ways to gain leadership experience can be very valuable for your growth. There are lots of different ways you can develop leadership skills, step out of your comfort zone and learn to lead others. 

Whether you’re looking to take on your first leadership role, connect with others on campus or add leadership skills to your resume, check out some programs that can help you get there.

Journey Leader Program

Journey Leaders are current CU Buffs who welcome new students and their families to CU Boulder. They also show new students around campus while providing resources and helping them find their place in the CU Boulder community. As a Journey Leader you will:

  • Connect with new Buffs as they start their CU Boulder journey.
  • Help new students and families feel welcome by sharing stories, answering questions and directing them to resources.
  • Use problem-solving skills to work through challenges and correctly answer questions from students and families.
  • Represent CU Boulder in a positive way at all times and uphold campus policies and expectations.

Applications to become a Journey Leader will close on Feb. 4!


CU GOLD (Gaining Opportunities through Leadership Development) is a free leadership program open to all CU students. Through CU GOLD, students practice effective communication, explore personal values and develop critical leadership skills. Students also gain personal awareness and growth to help them at CU Boulder and beyond.

  • The Core Leadership Program (CLP) is a semester-long introductory program. Each week, participants will explore personal values, diversity and different leadership styles. 
  • The Applied Leadership Program (ALP) is open to all CLP graduates. Students will learn how to effectively apply their skills and practice leadership roles through simulation-based learning experiences. 

Deadline to apply for CLP and ALP programs is Feb. 6 at 11:59 p.m.

Join a student board 

It’s never too early to think about the impact you could have on campus during your time here. Joining a student board gives you a voice and is a great way to meet new people and help make decisions that impact other CU Boulder students. Here are a few student boards to consider:

  • UMC Board: Help create policy, develop creative solutions to challenging issues and grow your leadership skills.
  • Center for Student Involvement (CSI) Board: Develop programs and educational opportunities to enrich the campus experience for CU Boulder students.
  • Environmental Center Board: Advocate for campus environmental policy, determine funding for innovative sustainability projects, get practical experience and more.
  • Rec Center Board: Promote the improvement of the Recreation Center and the university community through planning and positive action. 
  • CU Student Government (CUSG): Serve your peers, make a difference and truly leave your mark at CU Boulder by participating in student government.
  • Student Health Advisory Board: Help implement programs, provide information and connect students with resources to improve health on and off campus.
  • Volunteer Resource Center (VRC) Board: Through policy-making, leadership and outreach, being part of the VRC Board can help you advocate for and provide services to meet campus and community needs.
  • Cultural Events Board: Broaden cultural knowledge by supporting the voices of underrepresented and misrepresented groups on campus, thereby promoting student engagement with their platforms.

Take on a leadership role in a club or organization

Most student organizations and clubs have leadership roles. These can be a great way to develop various skills and gain experiences you will use well after your time at CU Boulder.

If you are already involved in a student group or Fraternity & Sorority Life, consider running for a leadership position. With more than 500 student organizations, there’s bound to be something that you’re interested in! Browse BuffConnect to explore student groups by topic or alphabetical list.

Volunteer in your community

Volunteering is a great way to be a leader, both on campus and in the Boulder area. Not only can you meet new people and make a positive difference in your community but there are also plenty of options to fit your schedule. Visit the Volunteer Resource Center (VRC) to learn more and find an opportunity right for you.

The Dean of Students Leadership and Values Council

The Dean of Students Leadership and Values Council gives you the opportunity to engage with students in a meaningful way to help provide support, resources and opportunities for the diverse student body. In addition to sharing ideas, counsel and feedback regarding issues that affect the student body, you will also engage in leadership development and mentorship opportunities.

Additional opportunities

When you step out of your comfort zone, the knowledge, skills and abilities you gain will be priceless for the job, internship or future opportunity you take on. 

For more tips and resources on events and getting involved, visit the Student Affairs website, attend student events and check out more ways to develop your leadership skills. Don’t forget to follow @CUBoulderLife on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!