The Host: Hello everyone and welcome back to the Student Affairs Podcast Series. My name is Sasha Gorchaunyt and I will be hosting today’s episode. Today we are joined by Associate Director of Leadership & Service, Kathy Meyer. In this episode we will be talking about leadership strategies, what it takes to develop leadership skills, how student involvement can help you and much more. Stay with us, so you don’t miss anything important.

Hello Kathy, how are you today?

Kathy Meyer: Doing great, thank you.

The Host: Great, well let’s move to the first question, could you please tell us what the strategies of leadership for students are?

Kathy Meyer: In my opinion, I think that students should consider areas of growth. So maybe, as I mentioned in the past episode, is that we have a rule three that we want them to try something academic, we want them to try something social and then something new. And so, I would recommend that students, at least in the first year, start to explore areas of interest for them. So, in that, try something new, perhaps go to a meeting or an informational at an organization that perhaps they've never participated in to see what they could offer to help for areas of growth. There are also some assessments that students can take. I would recommend that maybe either they reach out to our career services office, but they can do assessments as well as our office. So, for example, we do Clifton Strengths Finders in our office and that can help students identify specific skill sets that they currently possess. And in strengths, we actually say that students should enhance the strengths or skill sets that they already possess and focus on those. So, what we would do is help the student. We would offer the assessment to them and then we would have a consultation with them about how they can use that information to then select activities that are going to enhance the skills that they already possess and kind of strengthen those.

Additionally, I would say probably by the sophomore or junior year, a student should really consider specific involvement activities that they want to participate in. So, we're developing our skill sets. We're doing that by not only joining maybe one or two organizations, but we're also going to look at what are some leadership opportunities within those organizations. So maybe they want to enhance their budgeting skills. So maybe they look at opportunities to become a treasurer of an organization. Maybe they're looking at enhancing their public speaking skills and they want more time in front of folks. So, they might look at being like a president or a vice president of an organization where they're going to have lots of face time really sharing what the mission and vision of those organizations are with other students. So, I would say that by your senior year you have a deep connection with an organization that maybe you've held one or two leadership positions within that organization. And as you work with the career Development Center. They're going to be able to help you then develop a resume that will really highlight some of the skills and some of your strengths you've developed over the years, having participated in some of these recognized student organizations.

The Host: Yes, I think these are very useful strategies and every student should learn how to apply it in school, but what can a student do if he/she doesn’t have leadership skills?

Kathy Meyer: Actually, I believe that all students have the ability to lead, and so it's just a matter of finding the thing that you're good or interested in, really. The potential is always there for our students. I think that students just being vulnerable a bit to explore what opportunities are out there for them. For our first-year students at UofL, what we offer is a couple of programs. We have Freshmen Lead, which is focused on service. We also offer Task Force Freshmen that has a focus on getting students involved in our student Government association. And then the third, and it's open to everyone, is a Leader's Legacy. That's an online hybrid program. So, it has some online opportunities as well as some in person activities, but anyone can be a participant of a leader's legacy. And so, I would just really encourage first year students to be vulnerable enough to sign up, apply for one of these three programs in their first year at UFL and see kind of where it takes them. Because I think all three of those programs really emphasize the importance of strength, goal development, and connecting with someone at the institution, fellow student or a staff or faculty member.

The Host: Right, and can Student Involvement help with that?

Kathy Meyer: Oh, certainly. Well, I mentioned—gave a few examples just a moment ago, but a lot of students will tell us, well, either I wasn't ready in my first year to get involved, or maybe I didn't even know that I could apply for those. And so, I never want a student to feel like it's too late for me to be involved. I actually teach a leadership and Career Readiness course in collaboration with Public Health in the spring semester, and I'm sometimes surprised that we have juniors and seniors who will take the course, but then I'm always reminded that everyone enters at a different entry point. And so, it's really important for students to know it's never too late to get involved. Even if it's your last semester, we can find something of interest to you, but we can also help you identify what you want to do after college. Right. And so that's the important thing, is that we're really helping you determine where do you want to spend your time and energy and so I feel like that's something that we can certainly do, even in the junior and senior level. There's something for everyone.

A couple of things that student involvement offers. If maybe an RSO isn't your thing, maybe you just want to get involved in service. We have a ton of service activities that students can participate in. Seoul is one of the first events that we offer. It's a four-hour event that kicks off welcome Week, basically. And so, we would recommend students maybe show up for Seoul and go out and do some community service with us. And maybe they might find a connection with an organization locally that really drives them. If service is their thing and they want to continue with that. We offer a ton of alternative service breaks throughout the year that students can sign up for and participate in that. So, we have a lot going on if leadership roles are what they're looking for. We have student government. And I mentioned several in the last podcast that we actually have the engaged Lead Serve board or the Student Advisory board or student Activities board. So, there's a number of ways in which students can get involved at UFL and really make meaning. So yeah, lots of opportunities.

The Host: That was all we have for today. Before we sign off is there anything else you would like to add?

Kathy Meyer: No, but I would like to thank you for your time. And maybe I would just add again, tell everyone, please go to louisville.edu/engage. That is where they'll find all contacts, anything that they might be interested in. It's all on Engage. So, thank you very much.

The Host: Kathy, thank you so much for coming and sharing such an important techniques and suggestions. I hope now our listeners will want to become involved and show off their leadership skills.

For our listeners for more information about student services and events go to our website louisville.edu/studentaffairs.

Also, did you know that if you have an ADHD, autism, a visual impairment, a learning disability, physical disability, or psychology disability and need help with your classes, you can go to louisville.edu/disability.

We would like to give a shout out to the international center for moving to a new office and a shout out to all of the students who helped with the moving. The new office is now located at Jouett Hall, second floor.

Thank you to our listeners for staying with us! We wish you the best. Take care and stay tuned for our next episode!


Student Affairs

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