UAF Has Been a Leadership Laboratory

One of the real joys of teamwork and leadership is being able to see the excitement and the genuine happiness that comes from an individual or team who might not believe that the mission was even possible and then they find a way to succeed honorably. There's something remarkable about seeing the people we work with and lead accomplish things they didn't think they were capable of.  This is one of the many great things that I’ve been able to experience as a student leader at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. As I started getting more involved in organizations, I realized that I started creating relationships with leaders and mentors who have forever made a mark on my life.

I'm glad my college experience has been a large leadership laboratory.

I’ve made many mistakes as a student leader, I’ve had events where nobody showed up, the important thing is that when a person does show up, we make sure that they are cared for and have a pleasant experience even if we are disappointed with the way things turned out. I’ve realized that it’s always easy to be down on ourselves. It can be discouraging but instead of being discouraged I try to think about what sorts of things I can do to make the event meaningful to the other members of the team.

As a student leader, it’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed with opportunities, responsibilities and often it can be hard to delegate tasks to people you are just meeting. I’ve learned as a leader of a student organization I need to create opportunities for younger students to thrive and grow and show that the organization is worthwhile to them. This is the where the joy come backs. My goal as a student leader is to encourage younger students to be the best version of themselves and contribute to the creation of more leaders. I believe more than anything in the world we need outstanding leaders that respect and care for the people under their wing.

Finally, one of my real growths in leadership came from one of the first student organizations that I started with at UAF. That organization is Students Offering Leadership Development. I started as a general member in 2014, and then I became the Vice President in Spring 2015, I took over as President for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 and then resigned.  I can honestly tell you that my experience with this organization has expanded my leadership skills tremendously.

I’ve learned that teams move at the speed of trust thanks to an opportunity to have lunch with a full bird colonel from West Point. I learned how to be rejection proof from best-selling author Jia Jiang, and I’ve learned so much about leadership from Geoff Welch it’s getting hard to count the lessons. One of  the best parts of SOLD has been the advising I’ve received from Dr. Nicole Cundiff; her guidance, instruction and challenges have helped shape my leadership style in many different ways. Most importantly her mentorship and care have shown me that there are many different ways to define leadership but the most important part of leadership is that you can always grow and learn to be better and expand your character.

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