Every freshman, sophomore and junior that are leader advancement scholars have to be involved with a LEAD team. This year I was able to work my way onto the LAS in the D service trip, which is so exciting! I loved it so much my freshman year that I knew I had to go another year!
Preparing for the service trip requires extensive preparation, money, thought, and enthusiasm. This is a time for the freshman to all bond as well, which is what I am even more excited to see as the weekend is about to unfold. Friendships get made on this trip that I did not even know could occur.
Serving others with people you have a strong bond with, whether you are super close or not, is such a beautiful thing. Serving in Detroit is even more beautiful. I am excited to see where this weekend will take the freshman and their outlook on Detroit. The planning will finally come together and the freshman will experience one of their most memorable memories from freshman year, and as a sophomore I get to experience that all over again!
Being a Leader Advancement Scholar, there is a specific protocol that i have to follow in order to maintain my scholarship. One of the requirements is take specific leader-orientated classes with my cohort. During my Leadership 200 class, it was part of our curriculum to learn about and teach the rest of class about Leadership theories/approaches. It was very beneficial to learn about this and help me learn about myself as a leader personally.
Through taking the specified courses with my cohort which include; LDR 100, COM 264L, PSY 100L, LDR 200, and HST 110L WI, I have experienced as observed the application of Situational Leadership. Situational Leadership is defined as when a leader of an organization adjusts their style to work with the development level of the followers they have, and how he is specifically trying to influence those individuals. Through this approach their is delegating, supporting, coaching, and directing behaviors. These behaviors were apparently visible to me through my professors and fellow LAS cohort during our required classes.
Each professor teaches in their own unique style, and obtain a different way of leading their class. As well, each student has to learn how to be a leader within each classroom setting based on how they correlate with the professor and how the class relates to them. Some of us LAS students are extremely outspoken, so we have to have a certain delegating behavior when it comes to discussion in class. Also, we all support each other in different ways. In our fall classes, our professors were more lenient so our behavior in class was much more relaxed. However, this past semester, our courses and semesters increased the intensity of our curriculum and a new type of leader in the classroom was available. This caused our LAS cohort to become better coaches one another and support each other to succeed in difficult subjects, and be the leaders we know how to be.
In Situational Leadership, a leader knows how to lead in a certain way based on specific circumstances. Each professor has different material to cover, and a different approach to teaching, which made them their own leader within the class. This, in turn, caused us as leadership students to approach each class in a unique manner. In order to get the most out of each class and build a strong relationship with our professors, we have to adapt to how we are as students sometimes. SO all in all, the required protocol classes made the Situational Leadership approach very visible, and now I can say that I had the opportunity to experience this approach in a real-life experience; which was available to me through the amazing Leadership Institute!
As a Leader Advancement Scholar, you receive mentees as a sophomore. A mentee is a freshman who you take under your wing and guide/mentor them throughout their time in college. Before the Mentor Workshop during LDR 200 class I was aware of the entire mentor/mentee process, but I did not truly understand the “hype” of it. The workshop allowed me to realize that I now am somewhat responsible for this LAS student, and I want to be the best possible mentor to them as possible. I do believe that I have a great mentor who has definitely showed me the ropes and will be a great G-Mentor to my mentee! However, after the Mentor Workshop I did realize that there is a lot more work when having a mentee than I initially thought. Just to cover a few things, I was reminded that I have to guide not only through getting through school, but also dealing with their friend issues, dreaded break-ups, their gen-eds, and how to balance CMU’s social life and school life.
I know that I am fully prepared to be the best possible mentor to me mentee now though because I have now gone through it all. All of the “not-so-happy” things I dealt with I want to help my mentee not have to go through any of that. College is hard enough as it is and being able to prevent unwanted issues will just make me mentees’ CMU experience that much more enjoyable. Also, I would say that I am a pretty motherly and nurturing person, so I will make sure that I am only a phone call away, or ready for a girls night, or to be there to help on LAS cohort classes. Personally, I am taking the role as a mentor very seriously, and I cannot wait to experience the next three years on campus with my mentee!
In order to be the best mentee I can be, I am preparing myself by creating a list of do’s and dont’s for my mentee. There are some things that my mentor did not have to go through that I did, and I want to take what my mentor told me and what I have to say, and give all of that information and put it into my mentee’s hands. Also, I am preparing to shower my mentee with gifts and CMU essentials! Do you even go to CMU if you don’t have a CMU bumper sticker of “Beat Western” pin? Probs not! A mentor needs to show that they care about their mentee and that they have their best interest in mine. I will be loving, caring, nurturing, and a friend who will always be there. Everyone needs a should to lean on in college, and that is what the LAS family believes!
So you are probably wondering what HST 110L WI stands for. Well it stands for History 110 Leadership, which is a writing intensive course. The key word to the title of this class was writing intensive because every assignment was fully revolved around writing. This class is also a requirement for Leader Advancement Scholars. I took the class with almost my entire cohort. History was never my strong suite so the fact that I have to go to this class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday a 10 A.M. Now I know what you are probably thinking; “At least it is not an 8 am”, but when you do not understand what is occurring it can be difficult at times to go to class. Although I did not enjoy the course, the professor is actually an enjoyable person to talk to! She has much interest for George Washington and definitely knows her history!
So what did I actually learn in this history class? Well, I would say that the main thing I took away from this course is how important the leaders in our country’s history used their leadership skills to accomplish great things for out nation as a whole. Relating leadership to people who made huge movement for our country is truly incredible to learn about and how the United States of America was shaped into the great nation we have today.
Now, what will I do with this newly founding knowledge of U.S. History? Most likely, I will take what I learned about certain leaders, such as presidents and movement/policy makers, and put that towards efforts in my own life. I also now know that sometimes the road to accomplish something might take shorter or longer than expected, you just never truly know. History has never truly been my strong suit in school, but I can honestly say I have become a stronger student from the class and have been humbled as a freshman in college. Thanks Professor Tobin, you have shaped me into a more well-rounded student!
One of the greatest Alpha Leaders
As a freshman obtaining the leadership advancement scholarship, it is a requirement to go through the Alpha Leadership experience in your first year of college. I had the opportunity to take it my very first semester since it fit within my class schedule. I am a “Leadership nerd” when it comes to getting young leaders in one area and just feeding off of each other, so it’s fair to say I was more than excited to be able to go through Alpha. The duration of Alpha Leadership was a six week period in which every Thursday night in Powers Hall. I was put in the Green Machines with two amazing leaders. Every week I learned something new about myself and my leadership skills. I tested myself, and I found out that I am a very “spirited” leader. This makes since to me in many ways because I am always encouraging others to do their best in what ever it may be and I look at the positives in situations. Throughout the course I also learned multiple skills; proper communication, listening abilities, staying calming, and accepting other peoples’ views. At the end of it all, I came to the conclusion that throughout my life I want to stay connected to leadership learning communities, because things like the Alpha Leadership Experience truly bring out the best in people.
This past fall semester the LAS cohort went to the Connection’s Conference in Travers City, Michigan. Many groups from Central Michigan University met at the Great Wolf Lodge for a fun-filled weekend to learn about leadership styles, hear words of encouragement, and learn more about ourselves. A big thing that I focused on is how to learn to be more effective with my time. I was able to attended two key speakers that gave me great insight on how to be more useful with my time in every day life. It was also a great bonding experience for our cohort, and to make connections with people through other leadership communities on campus. From spending as many hours in the water park as possible( I acted like a little kid in a candy store) to playing hide and go seek in the resort’s lobby, I would say it was definitely a successful weekend. The memories I made, learning how to properly talk to other leaders, and gaining information to succeed in the real world, I felt like a new person the morning I got on the charter bus to head back to Central Michigan University.