Profiles in Leadership: Mathieu Sasseville May 28, 2012Posted by Crystal in Leadership.
Mathieu Sasseville, EFUT (St. George)
In his third year at the University of Toronto studying International Relations, Mathieu, dividing his time between studies and the EFUT, a club for students interested in engaging and learning French, at the St. George campus. He has always been involved in student life, and decided to help spread French language and culture on campus through EFUT, where is serves as vice-president.
What is your definition of leadership?
Leadership, especially good leadership is a confluence of several different things inspiration, communication, encouragement, discipline and dedication. To lead is not simply to order others, but rather to guide, to help and to teach. In this way, a good leader is a trustworthy person, who is at once mentor and friend.
What are your favourite campus events?
I must confess, I have a bit of a bias towards EFUT’s awesome club nights. However, I’m also a big fan of UC’s Fireball, and social gatherings of all stripes.
How do you maintain the balance of your club, school and other responsibilities, especially at busy times of the year?
It’s a hard equilibrium to find; I often have to sacrifice one aspect of my life and activities in order to meet my commitments. I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by highly competent execs at EFUT, who are able to help me out with running things there in busy times. A good idea is to work ahead, writing papers one or two weeks in advance. Unplanned things always come up, so it’s good to not be left desperate.
What do you feel you’ve gained from taking a leadership role in your group?
I’ve gained a wealth of experience dealing with administering a large group, but also the value of a good team. I’ve met a number of EFUT members and execs from other clubs, all of whom are great people. These relationships, and the positive contribution I’ve been able to make to their successes, are well worth the effort I invest in EFUT.
What have you learned from being involved with student life?
I’ve learned that the personal aspect of a large school like U of T is often well-hidden behind a morass of acronyms, group names and procedures. However, it is the students of U of T who make the university what it is; it is only alive because of us, and only be interacting amongst ourselves can we enrich our university experiences beyond academe.
When you graduate, what do you think you will miss the most about university life?
I will likely miss the carefree good times I’ve shared with friends and acquaintances and the camaraderie which appears everywhere, all the time.
What are your future plans?
In a word, I plan to be happy, and to make the most of my life. I suspect that’s not quite what you were asking—in truth, I’ve got many ideas. I know I want to travel and work at the same time; perhaps I’ll join an NGO or government agency, for a while at least, before perhaps looking to get a master’s degree or going to law school.
Any advice for students who feel they want to get involved, but don’t know where to start?
Be adventurous, and don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. U of T offers ad huge number of opportunities to partake in extracurricular activities, so the more you try, the higher the chances you’ll find something you love. A good place to start is just looking at poster boards in libraries, at Sid Smith, etc. Or, you can just check out EFUT’s facebook page, we’ve got loads of ways to get involved!
Do you have a favourite quote?
If you’re not living on the edge, you’re just taking up space.
Interview by Redon Hoxhaj, 2011-2012 Communications Assistant, Office of Student Life