Eric Olson accepts chef manager position

16 years, 8 positions, and 1 outstanding team


I didn’t get here alone – that was the core theme of Eric Olson’s conversation as he talked about his 16-year journey with NDSU Dining.

In 2004, Olson made the trek from La Crescent, Minnesota, to begin his degree at NDSU. To help pay for college, he decided to work a few hours for Dining. Sixteen years later, Olson’s resume looks like an NDSU Dining organizational chart. Starting as a student associate, he has since held seven different positions.

“There are always opportunities that help set yourself up and give you the ability to get where you want to go. It’s like playing chess,” he said.

Olson must be a chess and chef master, because in May he will begin his eighth position in dining. He recently accepted the promotion of chef manager in the Residence Dining Center. 

In a world of job and career bouncing, one thing has kept Olson at NDSU.

“The people. It’s an outstanding team. Everyone works so hard and is so selfless. This is a great place to work. Why would I want to leave a good thing,” he said with a smile.

Olson said the food industry can be cutthroat, but NDSU is different. “At NDSU, I have been surrounded by so many good people and I have learned from everyone in every position. They took a chance on me, they gave me confidence, they were patient with me. Everyone has been a huge cheerleader through the years,” he said.

When asked what he would want others to know who are just starting out, his advice was simple. “You’ve got to be willing to work hard and make your own luck, then take advantage of the opportunities that come along. Never say no.”
Olson begins his new position on May 3, 2021.

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