Last week, Susan Weihrich, Teresa Ling, and I met with students from our Undergraduate Leadership Program. They invited us for breakfast, so of course we had to show up! Sharon Lobel is the faculty member overseeing the program, and she was there as well.
This is an impressive group of students who have obviously benefitted from Sharon’s guidance. They are going to significantly contribute to the Albers School over the next two or three years (they are sophomores and juniors). Many of them are already taking on leadership roles in some of the student organizations in the Albers School, and they are looking for other ways to contribute to our “ecosystem.”
One initiative they are launching is the Albers Leadership Club. This will be a vehicle for them to continue contributing to the school. One function of this club will be to encourage all club leaders to come together and share best practices while pursuing collaborative activities. We all agree that our student organizations can have a greater impact and events will be more successful if the clubs collaborate with each other.
In answer to their question about what more they could do for Albers, we challenged them with several areas, including “what should we be doing to recruit more freshmen to the Albers School?” and “how can we get more undergraduate students to attend the Albers Executive Speaker Series?” Our speakers always do a great job and I am always disappointed with the low turnout of undergraduate students who can really benefit from attending!
The students asked some great questions. At one point they asked what leadership roles I had when I was an undergraduate student at LaSalle University back in the day. Now that is an interesting question and one I had not thought about! I was able to remember being President of the Economics Club and being the student representative at meetings of the Department of Economics.
But what really seemed to interest them was me being part of a start-up club called Gallery Associates. Our role was to support the newly opened art gallery at the university, and I was able to tell them that it was only because of my art history teacher that I was inspired to get involved with this group! After all, economists are left-brained people, right, and no one is more so than me, so how in the world did I end up in the art gallery??
We reminded them that there are many opportunities for leadership, and they do not all flow from one’s rank or title. One can lead by seeing something that needs to be addressed and taking the initiative to fix it.
It was very inspiring for the three of us to spend time with this group of student leaders. They are a talented and savvy bunch, and we look forward to seeing the contributions to the Albers School and SU that they will make during their time here, and the impact they will have on their profession and community after graduation!