Reaching new heights

Campus Life

Student leaders attend Grand Valley State Leadership Summit

By Marvin Poindexter, Arts & Entertainment Editor

On Saturday Feb.16, 20 Schoolcraft College student leaders attended the 23rd annual, Laker Leadership Summit at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This leadership summit was organized by the Office of Student Life at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). More than 150 students from colleges and universities across Michigan attended.

Attendees from Schoolcraft’s various clubs and organizations on campus such as Phi Theta Kappa, Millennials & Politics, Safe Place, Student Activities Board and more were all in attendance to learn and improve on how to become a better leader and how to apply those skills in their everyday life as a student leader.

The Summit was broken up into four sessions throughout the course of the day. Each session contained 4-7 different presentations/discussions dedicated toward a specific topic that can give students insight and enlightenment on leadership. A Leadership Roundtable Discussion session which took place between 10:15 a.m.-11 a.m. contained presentations and conversations hosted by Bob Stoll, Associate Dean of Student Life and Rachel Jenkin, GVSU Student Senate President. The discussion allowed attendees to be able to engage with the hosts and talk about some of the struggles they face while being in a leadership position at their school and or workplace. The crowd ranged from a variety of student leaders who simply are trying to figure out how to bring in more members into their clubs to those sharing their experiences as well as their personal struggles while trying to step into a leadership position. Other discussions that were available to attend during the first session consisted of Professional Attitude, Communication & Demeanor, as well as an opportunity to take Professional Headshots for profiles.

There were also discussions held that were dedicated to those who essentially have a hard time coming out of their “shell.”

One discussion in particular, which took place during session four titled “Leading as an Introvert,” discussed such topic and was curated by speaker Ashley Eschbach. During this discussion, Eschbach was able to relate to attendees  about what it means to introvert being one herself. Part of what helped drive the discussion stemmed from the best-selling novel “The Quiet” by Susan Cain.

The end of the summit was capped off with a message from keynote speaker Alexa Carlin, founder & CEO of Women Empower Expo and public speaker. Within the message delivery Carlin laid out a memorable framework that contributed to her success, which can be adopted by others and used in their own success (Mindset. Purpose. Community. Action).

During her talk Carlin touched on key points such as confidence and how it can be gained. Authenticity and how it defines who you are as an individual, as well as how it can affect the building of one’s personal branding.

Overall the leadership summit was a valuable experience in which student leaders can apply what they gained from each session into their everyday lives. The summit was able to convey what it means to be leader while giving supplemental advice. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert neither trait hinders nor determines what makes someone a leader, part of it is being your true self (authenticity) and standing out from the rest. Being a leader also means at times taking risks even if you’re not ready.

“You’ll never be 100 percent ready so you might as well go for it today” as stated by Carlin. Carlin also stated something that goes off what, not being at 100 percent, that at the same time offers advice or rather gives direction to the steps of becoming a leader “Feed your opportunities and starve your obstacles.”