Redefining Leadership Retreat
Redefining Leadership is a program designed for first-year students who wish to learn more about their leadership roles and identities. The program explores various leadership theories and models that are applicable to students’ current roles, civic life, and their future careers. During this twelve week program students participate in reflective journals, group discussions, utilize “StrenghtsQuest” and MBTI and a one-day retreat.
The Redefining Leadership retreat took place on February 8 in the BCC Oak Room. The retreat was designed to have all five sections of Redefining Leadership collectively learn and develop as a group. The goal of the retreat was to actively engage all students through experimental learning and personal development activities. This included team building activities, strengths learning, trust building, and an overall sense of commitment to community. Students were also provided with information on how leadership is crucial to their future as young professionals. Stephanie Gallo, associate director of Fairfield’s Career Planning Center, informed the students of important strategies and techniques on how to better prepare themselves for the careers that lay ahead of them.
Many students benefited from this presentation and one student stated, “I learned how I can create and improve my resume and the steps to take in advance before my junior year when job search becomes a huge priority.”
In addition students were informed about their personal strengths. Students received their Top Five Strengths after taking the “StrengthsQuest” survey online. The strengths each student received reflected how they naturally conduct themselves in their lives. Students not only became aware of their top five strengths, but learned about how each of the thirty-four strengths affects leadership styles and the ability to work with others.
One student commented that, “Most importantly, I learned that there is no one “best” strength, and everyone is different in their own ways, and this is what helps [us] achieve a common goal.”
Another student reflected on the strengths-learning saying, “I learned that many [students] have similar strengths as me, but none of us have the exact same five strengths. We are all unique people and when we work together we can achieve great things. I learned that we have all joined Redefining Leadership to become better leaders and learn a lot about ourselves in the process. I learned that I have them to help me and be a support system.”
Overall the Redefining Leadership retreat was seen as a huge success. It was an informative, enjoyable experience. Students were presented with a comfortable environment in which they were able to share, grow and learn about their leadership capabilities all while having a good time.
More information about Leadership Development programs can be found at www.fairfield.edu/leadership.
Story written by Kelly Conway ‘15, Accounting Major, Student Assistant, Leadership Development Programs