Spending the majority of my college career in a leadership role taught me quite a lot, it was a blessing and I became who I am today because of it. I surround myself with those who challenge, respect and value my passions and abilities.
I have found that same blessing through the Leadership Saginaw program and I am lucky enough to be working for the company that puts on Leadership Saginaw. This leadership development program is made up of 25 dedicated individuals who have a desire to make a different in Saginaw County. We spend 1 day a month together for 10 months, learning about the county; in hopes that opportunities will prosper to create positive impact in the county. Leadership Saginaw has been around since 1986, each year a different group of leaders complete and graduate from the program. With its long-standing history in the area, there are valuable networking opportunities to foster leaders.
I look forward to each month when I am connected with my classmates. I am a little less than halfway through the program; already I am noticing friendships and support coming from our class. I feel valued for my passion for the Saginaw community and this is something I thrive on. As the saying goes, surround yourself with those who lift you higher.
Friendship Builds Leaders.
It is very rewarding to have the experience to grow as a leader surrounded by individuals who are becoming close friends. Saginaw, in its small town nature, has provided many delightful opportunities to make lasting friendships. I truly believe friendship in your professional life creating meaningful leadership opportunities. I know I feel more comfortable public speaking and making executive decisions when with people I am confident calling my friends.
Continuing, friends believe in you. Giving you the support through challenges, the criticism when you need it the most and the shoulder to cry on when leadership roles become too much but it’s all to make you that much better. Friends are essential for professional growth. I am blessed to say a couple of professional mentors have become dear friends since I began working full time in college.
You are a Leader.
Looking back six months ago, I would not have had seen myself as a “leader”, as I was looking for a job, just a young 24 year old moving back home. But then again, who makes that determination of leadership? You do. For yourself. Position yourself as a leader, take on extra responsibilities and you begin to be viewed as a leader.
Joining the Leadership Saginaw Class of 2017, I felt comfortable enough to open up, express my passions and grow professionally and become a leader again. The uniqueness of the class from an array of industries, skill levels and an educational backgrounds; that is the best part, we each become our own leaders.