Leadership - maybe it's not what you think it is!

I recently attended a Skills for Success session focused on leadership and hosted by Teachfirst. At first I must admit I was a bit sceptical and thought it was going to be really boring, but in fact it was the opposite! It was a really interesting session, and I walked away with a better understanding of what employers look for and with a sense of confidence with regards to knowing what to say in an interview.

The session took place in a lecture theatre, therefore I thought it would largely be a presentation and that we may have the opportunity to ask questions at the end. However, it turned out to be a really interactive session. We were split into groups, had to complete certain tasks relating to leadership and then reflect on what we had done. One example of this was when we split off into groups and each group was given a bundle of dry spaghetti and a handful of marshmallows. We were told that we had to build a tower and the group with the tallest tower would win a prize. This was a really fun task, which at the time I thought was just an ice breaker, but afterwards we reflected on the leadership skills we had used (or in my group’s case lacked - let’s just say our tower didn’t really go to plan!). In addition to being a good laugh, the task was highly useful in identifying possible problems within a team and in illustrating what could have been done to make each team more efficient.

Following each task the session leader, who was a recent postgraduate from the University of Sheffield, explained the value of each skill from the perspective of a graduate employer, stating its importance and also helping to suggest ways in which you could demonstrate such a skill in an interview. I found this particular aspect really helpful, as prior to the session I thought to demonstrate leadership skills I would have to come up with something like ‘as head boy at school I demonstrated leadership skills in…’. In fact I learnt that a simple example, such as being in some sort of team and delegating responsibilities, was sufficient if you could talk about the ways in which you carried out these tasks. The session was really useful in giving me an insight into what graduate employers are looking for, and it has helped me to ‘stop stressing’ with regards to not having enough experience or things that I could say to an employer. The fact that the session was run by a young postgrad created a really friendly environment in which I felt comfortable to ask questions that I usually would have been too scared to ask. All in all I would really recommend these sessions!

Eli (Student Blogger)
Careers Service

Careers Service

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.