What it means to be a leader

The Emerging Leaders Program had its final banquet last Wednesday after a six-week course that helped to shape students into future leaders. The program is offered every semester to first year students with the hope of helping them adapt to campus life and their fellow students, and to train them on how to be effective leaders on Wittenberg’s campus.

The students had a two hour course every Monday night in which they discussed what it means to be a leader and the ways they could impact the campus by helping others. The students had online assignments that made them think critically about themselves and how they can use their leadership skills to better not only Wittenberg, but the world.

Two first year students, Amanda Rogus and Max Joseph, just completed the program this semester, and were eager to talk about what the program meant to them:

Profile: Amanda Rogus

Major(s): Theater and English

What are your career goals?

I want to get paid as an actor in New York City…No, seriously, I want to be successful in theatrical arts. I want to start with performing and then a lot of people go into teaching. Since I have a strong background in Shakespeare, I’d probably teach a Shakespeare course at a college.

How will being an Emerging Leader help your future career?

I feel that no matter what type of theater I get involved in, one must be able to put on the shoes of both the leader and the follower to succeed with what they’re doing.

How do you define a leader?

To me, a leader is an individual who can take control of a group in a manner that enables the whole to succeed for a greater cause.

What does it mean to you to be an Emerging Leader?

Prior [to Emerging Leaders], I had been a part of Leaders Now International to build strong women leaders, now and in the future. Coming from that background, I thought I wasn’t going to get much out of it. The longer I was in Emerging Leaders, I realized it wasn’t as much a resume builder as it was a chance to learn specifically what it means to be a leader at Wittenberg, and pertains to more mature leadership skills. And it doesn’t brush up on the basics, covering the 7Cs of the social change model as its major focus.

What have you learned in this six-week period?

I feel it’s hard to sum up such a vast amount of material in one sentence, but can be defined simply in seven words: follow your heart and lead through example.

 

Profile: Max Joseph

Major(s): Political Science and History 

What are your career goals?

I’d like to be an environmental lawyer. I’ll probably go to law school. Or [I could pursue] a career in music, or…I don’t know. I’m still not sure what I want to do.

How will being an Emerging Leader help your future career?

I think it will help me decide as to what I want to do, what’s important in my life, what I’m passionate about, and what I can better this world with. And I think it will also make me realize how to utilize the strengths I have and do what I love.

How do you define a leader?

I define it as someone who leads without being told to lead, but at the same time is not a dominant figure. Being a leader is being humble.

What does it mean to you to be an Emerging Leader?

To help build a foundation and confidence level for you to pursue leadership in organizations and clubs – to get involved on campus. It is a building block. Realize how being a leader can be a simple thing; it doesn’t require you to have six positions. Being a leader is being a confident person who has the ultimate goal to create a better community, whether it is a physical or ideal type.

What have you learned in this six-week period?

You don’t have to be this superficial leader. You can be a quiet leader who makes the community better, whether it is Wittenberg or another. I’ve learned how important networking is, for a career or here at Witt, and how far that can get you. You can lead other communities in life and [see] that a lot of us are the same, and how we need to put aside our differences and come together to work to get a community better or get a job done.

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