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Mentor Reflection

200c7786f2457944ee83b90562ba03daAs a new freshman, life on campus can be hectic. I remember the feeling of not knowing anyone as I walked around campus. I remember not knowing where I was on campus. It is a terrible thing. The one thing that allowed for me to transition into college as well as I did was my mentor.

As an incoming freshman in the Leadership Advancement Scholarship, you are paired up with a sophomore mentor. I was blessed to have an amazing mentor my freshman year. I learned so much from her, and I cannot wait to be able to mentor someone next year and give them the same knowledge that I received.

To prepare us to be a mentor, our LDR 200 class participated in a Mentor Workshop. I had ideas of what I needed to do, however, after the workshop, I had a better idea of what being a mentor entailed. I am prepared to listen to my mentee, and I am prepared to dedicate time to them all year.

I am looking forward to having a mentee so that I can teach them things going into college that I wish I would’ve known. It is such a scary process, and going into it alone can make it worse. I am looking forward to teaching them, however, also learning from them. Being a mentor is such an amazing way to learn about yourself. I will be such a great example for my mentee, and I will push myself even further to be the best student and role model I can be.

I am preparing myself to be a mentor in a variety of different ways. Not only am I taking pictures of my current dorm room now to share with my mentee but I am already thinking about important facts and tips that I can share with them. I am also preparing myself by talking about how I am going to treat my mentee with others. I want the people around me to hold me accountable. I want to be the best mentor and role model possible.

Now that I have gone through the mentor workshop I have discovered things that I need to work on. Before next year I want to stay in touch with my mentee and provide support throughout the summer. I also will introduce him/her to other mentors that can provide them help as well. I cannot wait to give someone the gift that I received last year. The gift of friendship, love, and guidance.

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Leadership Development

Leadership, Yes or NO?

Leadership has very different interpretations. It is a concept that only each individual has to decide for themselves how it will be interpreted. For me, leadership is credibility, understanding, confidence and delegation.

  • Credibility: in order to have followers you must earn the trust of those followers. TO be a leader, people around you have to want to follow you, if they cannot trust you, nothing will get done. As a leader, I want people to see me as one that makes good decisions, has made good decisions in the past and will make good decisions in the future.
  • Understanding: As a leader, you must understand different concepts, you must understand your followers and you must understand how to lead. For me, understanding and being relatable are the two best ways to have the credibility to be a leader.
  • Confidence: People want a leader who knows what they are doing, or at least act like they know what they are doing. Confidence is key in gaining follers. If you are not proud of what you believe in and do not take full faith in what you are doing then people will not see that you are confident and will not want to follow you.
  • Delegation: now here is where we answer if leadership is yes or no. Delegating tasks and duties has to be one of the most important things as a leader. Sometimes as a leader you must say NO. To truly be a leader you must lead people to things that you believe are right. For example, if Steve Jobs did not delegate he would never have had the fortune and product that he did. He delegated who made the phones, who marketed the phones and who sold the phones. It was not a one man job. To get a task done you need to recognize that you can say no to a task and you can delegate it to someone else.

Leadership is sometimes saying no. For your mental health and for your sanity, you must say no from time to time. Everyone is human, yes they may have a gift in leading, however that does not mean they must do everything. No is a strong word and allowing for yourself to see that it is okay to say no is something every leader must do to be successful in that they believe in.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” -John Quincy Adams

Leadership Development · Leadership Education

Connections Conference 2016

As a kid, I always wanted to go to the Great Wolf Lodge so when I heard a LAS requirement was to attend the Connections Conference in Traverse city I was very excited. The conference ran so smoothly; checking in and finding my room was a breeze. The people behind the scenes of the conference did an amazing job making sure everything ran smoothly. At the conference, I gained so much more than just leadership skills. I met new people, learned new things about myself and made CONNECTIONS.picture2

After checking in, we attended a welcome type event. We received our booklets and we debriefed about how the conference was going to run. After that, we broke off into our separate groups where we reflected on the different types of leadership groups that were attending the conference. Next, we went to dinner in the ballroom. The food was spectacular; we ate food that was MUCH fancier than caf food!

After eating an amazing dinner, we were allowed some free time. My roommates and I were so stuffed from eating the food that we did not want to put bathing suits on but there was a water park involved so, of course, we did it anyways. The whole time at the water park I floated in the lazy river and sat in the hot tub. It was the perfect way to unwind.picture1

The next morning we were served a delicious breakfast following that we went to the speakers we had chosen. The sessions were outstanding, I could not believe how much information I actually learned. It was an amazing conference! The people who put it together working so hard to make it perfect, and their hard work definitely paid off. I was so amazed by our LAS group and the others that attended the conference. Everyone participated in the conversations, it really did allow me to make “connections”.

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Now that I have attended the connections conference I am closer to my cohort, I have learned what kind of leader I am and I have made new friends. I want to take back the different speakers messages to people at CMU. The connections I made at this conference have allowed me to join different clubs and friend groups. Now I am more capable of talking to anyone in my cohort.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” -John Quincy Adams

Leadership Training

Spark Leadership

I walimg_0412k into a big banquet hall. It’s full of chairs and tables and people. People are conversing, people in charge are directing and I stood there watching with a close eye, scanning the entire room, waiting to find my place. It may have seemed to me at that moment that it was just a room full of people. In some ordinary ballroom. Yet, this wasn’t some old ordinary ballroom. It was my home; it was my future.

We had been in the same ballroom for competition day. Competition day was the day I competed for the LAS scholarship. That is the day I got to prove that my leadership in high school actually meant something. The Leadership Advancement Scholarship is the reason I was currently in this ballroom again. One of the requirements was to attend a Women in Leadership Conference.

At the conference, we met new people, made connections and learned our leadership style. The funniest thing was my leadership style had changed in such a short amount of time. In February of 2016, I attended a Women in Leadership conference in Lansing. At that conference, I took the usual leadership test and received a lion. A lion was the dominant leader; it compared to the direct leadership type at spark leadership. The weird thing was during the Spark Leadership experience I was a spirited type. Pretty much the complete opposite of what I was in February. At the Women in Leadership conference, they told us to work on managing our leadership types and try and be more versatile. So it was very exciting to see that after taking the leadership quiz at Spark I had actually managed it moimg_0914re than I thought! I was now a spirited leader.

After eating lunch, we broke out into different groups where we performed different team bonding activities. One we had to direct our partner blindfolded through a “cave” and we couldn’t step on the mouse traps. Another activity we had to lead our partner blindfolded to pick up different objects around the room. We
learned teamwork and how to not get frustrated with one another.

At the end of the day, we reflected on what we learned. I enjoyed these sessions because the people who signed up actually wanted to be there. Everyone put forth a great effort and allowed me to learn so much!

Now that I have been able to experience Spark I am going to encourage others to attend. I learned so much about myself in such a short day. I learned that I have progressed as a leader in such a short amount of time, however, I also learned that I have room to grow. I am going to take the information I learned about myself and use it to become a better leader. Now I will be conscious of my decision making according to my type of leadership. Now I am going to use my leadership skills I learned during Spark to help others.