The Chancellor’s First Year Student Leadership Program’s closing ceremony took place at the Chancellor’s Residence on Monday, November 2, 2015. This year’s class included student O’Licia Parker-Smith, who reflects on how she benefited from this special program, which is directed by Dr. C. Ellen Washington of the NC State Women’s Center. The program will welcome its new class in January.
The Chancellor’s First Year Leadership program took the top leaders of second-semester freshmen and transfer students to participate in a year-long leadership development program that allowed us exclusive training and the ability to network with key leaders in the triangle area. Monthly, we attended programs at the Chancellor’s Residence and ate dinner with him and his family, along with the guest speaker of the evening. These speakers were all highly established individuals within their fields who were eager to give back to young students and help them network.
The first semester, we focused on learning about who we are as leaders. An emphasis was put on learning our “True Colors” and what our strengths and weaknesses are. We also spent time learning how to construct solid resumes and how to diversify our skillset with a portfolio and proper business etiquette. With this program partly being the brainchild of Mrs. Woodson, we often emphasized gender and leadership, gender roles, perception of intentions based on gender and androgyny. We talked about how important it is to know what your team needs and learning all the strengths in your team to create a good balance.
The second semester focused on the application of what we learned. In diverse settings of leadership, we discussed the importance of not being color blind and building trust with your team. One of my favorite sessions involved learning about business dress and the many variations of business attire. Sales associates from Brooks Brothers came to show us different styles of business attire, the do’s and dont’s and how to care for our fine clothing.
For the conclusion of the program, we had a presentation where we interviewed a leader that we admired and reflected on that interview. As we approach the end, I feel I am fortunate to have been a part of such an eye-opening program. For the next round of students, I wish you the best of luck and strongly encourage you to take advantage of everything offered through this program. I have met a group of like-minded and ambitious individuals, and for that alone I am grateful. Thank you Dr. C. Ellen Washington for making this program a success!