The following blog post was written by Kelty Christensen, Learner Engagement Officer at the School of Global Access.
Bow Valley College learners have multiple opportunities to get involved in student life on campus, and many of these opportunities involve student leadership. Recently, I met with three College learners who have been involved in student leadership roles: Abhijeet Singh, former SABVC Executive of Finance and Operations; Mimi Tang, an ICan Crew volunteer and Students’ Council representative; and Mohammed Barakat, President of the International Students’ Club. I asked them what leadership traits are important to them, and the following themes emerged:
Confidence in self: According to Abhijeet, if you believe in yourself, others will believe in you, too. This means knowing your values and your ethics and taking a stand for what you believe in.
Integrity: Do what you say you are going to do. Speak up and advocate for what is just, even when it’s difficult. Following through on your commitments and being a role model for others is something that Abhijeet strives to do.
Belief in the inherit good nature of others: Develop a “people are kind and helpful” mindset in all of your interactions. Mohammed believes this mindset supports successful interactions.
Help Others: Make connections with other people. Mimi views leadership as an opportunity to empower others through encouragement and an opportunity to build relationships. She focuses on what she will be able to do for others and what she can learn from others.
Involvement: Having a passion for people. Leaders not only show up for class, they are an active part of campus life. Mimi loves knowing that she is contributing to student life at Bow Valley College and making an impact.
Be sincere and supportive: According to Mohammed, it’s important to learn from others and offer help where it is needed. He believes that a collaborative approach empowers everyone. As you learn about other people; it causes you to reflect and learn more about yourself. Setting a positive and supportive attitude as a leader sets the tone for others.
Risk: Trying activities outside of your comfort zone to learn and grow are critical in Mohammed’s opinion. This requires a willingness to experiment and do things in different ways. Engaging with difference creates more openness and appreciation for people and ultimately helps you to grow as a person.
Fulfillment: Leadership offers a sense of purpose. Leaders feel better about themselves when they know that they have contributed to their community and have made a difference in someone’s life. Abhijeet talks about the importance of a student’s day involving more than just homework and studying: it should involve things that fill you and make you happy.
Mimi, Abhijeet, and Mohammed are all examples of great leaders! What leadership traits are important to you?
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