by Carly Gregerman ’19 and Jen Walsh, Director of Student Engagement and Leadership
In this third and final conversation, Jen and Carly discuss the great opportunities students have to participate in leadership development training at Beloit this spring.
You can find the audio of the extended interview here:
Carly: . . . So what opportunities are there on this campus to develop leadership skills outside of being in a club, student government, or Res Life?
Jen: There are a lot of student opportunities on campus, like the ones you just talked about, but SEAL is trying to create more structured experiences about training on student development or leadership development with our students. One of those ways is a workshop series called Thursday Morning Leadership . Every Thursday morning I’m doing a leadership workshop on different topics.
Carly: Oh that’s really cool!
Jen: The other thing that I do is the Beloit Leadership Series which is a five week series. I have done that for the past four years and each time I get at least thirty-five people who are interested! It’s been a really cool experience for them and it’s been neat to see those people go through that process. The idea is that you attend your workshops for the five weeks and then there’s kind of a graduation at the end, it’s a whole big thing. It’s been neat for me to get to know people in that way, cause I don’t always get the one-on-one interaction in this role that I would like to have and the facilitation that I would like to do. It’s fantastic to get to see students leave the workshop to go on and do things, from bringing a major speaker to campus or manage a religious organization. It’s just been cool to see that growth.
So that’s an opportunity that will happen in the spring; also in the spring I am doing a leadership retreat that I just started last year, a collaboration with two other colleges liberal arts schools in Wisconsin, one being Edgewood College in Madison, the other being Carroll University in Waukesha. Basically our schools come together at a camp called Lutherdale and we each send a cohort of students from 10-15 people to this weekend retreat experience all based on leadership skills and growing leadership. The cool thing is that the Southern Sconnie Leadership Retreat involves people from different schools, so we get out of the Beloit Bubble which we talk too much about, and we get to send people to meet people from other schools.
Carly: And you make connections.
Jen: Yeah! Our student government doesn’t work the same way as Edgewood’s or Carroll’s, it’s very different. Very different student populations, very different cultures, so it was really really fun last year, so much fun that we are doing it again February 10 and 11, 2017.
Those are kind of the more structured during the year leadership activities or development skills that I do. Of course I hire Orientation Leaders, a group of people that help with New Student Days and campus orientation in the fall. That’s a great group to be part of! I open up applications for that in the spring usually in early February, and I’m not sure what else.
Carly: That is completely okay! I think that you have answered all my questions. I just wanted to say thank you so so much for speaking with me, and I am really excited for other people to hear this!
Jen: Me too!
Interested in meeting with Jen to learn more about these or other leadership opportunities available through SEAL? Join her for ‘Java with Jen’ on Friday Mornings in Java Joint from 9 to 10 a.m. You can also schedule a meeting with using jenwalsh.youcanbook.me.