1. How do you personally define leadership?
For me, leadership is something extremely nebulous (in a good way!) and cannot be pinned down to a specific set of behaviours, actions, or characteristics. Leadership can be exhibited in grand and explicit ways—like starting a not-for-profit or community organization—or it can be exhibited in small yet impactful ways—like facilitating the comfort of peers to participate in classroom discussions and in turn improving their academic experience. However, while nebulous in form, I will say that I think leadership at its core encompasses the values of empathy, selflessness, and initiative to be a driver of change, whatever the magnitude.
2. In your experience, what impact does student leadership have on campus?
What has it taught you? Has it enhanced your education? I am a strong believer that student leaders run campus (outside of the classroom, of course). If we think about our undergraduate experiences and the memories that are most clear, I would argue that there were student leaders behind the scenes that made that experience worth remembering. Every event, program, or initiative at the university that has impacted my experience and added value to my undergraduate career has been by virtue of student leader involvement in some capacity. And furthermore, while engaging with student-led initiative can be beneficial, becoming a student leader and working to organize something can be even more invaluable. The skills, experience, and learning that happens when you are trying to make something happen—especially something you are passionate about—I guarantee will provide you with transferable skills and experiences that will be extremely useful in your future endeavours.
3. What piece of advice would you give students who are thinking of getting involved outside the classroom?
Do it! Find something you are passionate about and make it happen. Not only will you be creating something that you can in turn benefit from, but you will learn so much along the way and get the chance to network with people who have similar goals and interests. Win-win-win.