Most universities will spoil you with choice when it comes to leadership opportunities. Whether you join an academic community, get involved in student politics or lead a sports team, there is plenty of invaluable experience to gain outside of the classroom.
Learning to work in a team, achieve a common goal, and explore and discover new interests will not only help your personal growth and confidence at university, but will also help you stand out in front of employers when you graduate.
Below, three students from the University of Manitoba reflect on how they can take advantage of three different leadership opportunities in their organization, and the valuable skills they learned from them.
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Habiba Mohamed, student of International Business and Supply Chain Management
I first began participating in leadership opportunities in high school, by applying for executive positions at clubs that intrigued me, joining sports teams and participating in community service.
In my senior year, I organized a fundraising event that started as a project for my Social Justice class but ended up becoming so much more than that. I created a GoFundMe page and raised enough money to feed about 150 families in Egypt.
Throughout my time at the university thus far, I have continued to take on leadership roles related to social justice.
I have been involved with Global University Service Canada, where I volunteer as Finance Director to help implement scholarship schemes for participants in the Student Refugee Program.
Through this opportunity, I had the opportunity to network with a diverse group of people, meet new students, and develop relationships with local businesses in the community.
Not only did I gain hands-on experience, but I developed relevant skills that I will undoubtedly continue in my career.
Hayley Turner, life sciences student
It might seem like everyone knows exactly what they’re interested in when they get to college, but I’ve found the opposite.
Engaging in leadership opportunities in and out of the classroom at university has given me the opportunity to discover what I love and how I can build a career in my interests in the future.
During my studies thus far, I have been fortunate enough to join the track and field team at the University of Manitoba, and gymnastics coach for the Special Olympics.
Although the Taking on this role as a student who has faced his challenges has also given me the opportunity to develop resilience, overcome obstacles, and be a team player – or as I like to think of it, a calm leader. In other words, the leader isn’t always the captain or the one running the show, but sometimes it’s behind the scenes.
I took this lesson back to the classroom, which has been a major asset of my personal journey. Discovering my twin passions for sports and science, I now set my sights on becoming a clinical psychologist specializing in sports.
The skills I gained as a student-athlete and coach were pivotal to this decision, allowing me to create a future that I love and become a leader in many areas.
Liat Schultz, student in kinesiology and entertainment management
Because of Covid-19, most of my college experience over the past year has taken place online – a situation I could never have imagined.
Fortunately, I found that, even in the most difficult of circumstances, You can still contribute to your community and grow as an individual.
Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to virtually welcome new students from all over the world, assist high school graduates as they begin their college experience and work alongside a team of inspiring individuals as members of the University of Manitoba’s motion ball class.
I have also met many outstanding academics and had the opportunity to work with some of the most distinguished physiotherapists in Winnipeg.
All these experiences helped me become a better communicator, leader, and learner.
Above all, I learned a lot about myself and how to adapt to different situations, giving me A better sense of my current role in my community and the role I would like to play as I get older.
In addition, I have a better understanding of the importance of self-care and prioritizing our well-being before trying to help others – the most amazing leaders are those who understand that balance is a critical component of achieving any goal.
With all the knowledge I have gained, I feel confident going forward with my degree and am eager to see what professional experiences lie ahead.