What Having a Leadership Position Has Taught Me

At the end of last semester (A.K.A May… where has the time gone?), I had the honor of being named one of the two Campus Correspondents/Club Presidents of our Her Campus chapter for the now-current academic year. I had no idea what I would encounter along the way, but it was a journey I could not have been more excited about.

 

Truth be told, I had never had a leadership position before. There were many times when I needed to act like a leader—taking charge in high school group projects (i.e. sometimes doing all the work) and organizing small-group practice sessions during color guard season—but I was not selected to ever be an official leader of any kind. Needless to say, former CC’s Emily Sheptoski and Kasey Lanenberg took a chance on me and they sure left big shoes behind to fill!

 

With this semester inching closer and closer to the finish line, check out my reflection below of having a leadership position for the first time and five incredible lessons I have learned thus far.

 

 

1. More than just a title.

I would be lying if I said the excitement I had for this position was not entirely because I would have a leadership title to add to my resume. Now that I have made it through this first semester, though, I have realized that the meaning of being a leader extends far beyond the actual name of it. I am not just a Club President—when running meetings and scheduling articles, I am an organizer and a planner; when designing posters to promote the club around campus, I am an artist and a marketer; when encouraging members who have either questions or doubts about their ideas, I am a cheerleader; when publishing our chapter’s articles every Sunday morning, I am not only a publicist, but also I am one heck of a proud mom. “Club President” does not even begin to cover half of the roles I also took on.

 

 

2. Time management is KEY.

Alongside Her Campus, I am also a WSU campus tour guide and a writer for the university Admissions and Campus Life Blog, as well as an active member in both W.I.S.E. (Women in Science and Engineering) and Circle K International. And on top of all that, I am a full-time college student. (If you are wondering whether I have had a breakdown yet, the answer is yes, many times.) Needless to say, managing my time is an absolute priority for me 24/7 because I know that even though everything I am involved in is extracurricular, and my ultimate priority is to do well in school, I have different duties and obligations for each club that I have a personal responsibility to balance with my filled-to-the-brim academic schedule and heavy homework load. At the beginning of the semester, I had not found my rhythm yet with this balance and I would often procrastinate. I am by no means saying I have figured it all out now, but I am definitely getting a better handle on my jobs and, at this point, I have gotten used to busy days and late nights.

 

 

3. New definition of “loyalty.”

If you were ever the head when playing “follow the leader” when you were younger, you probably did a bunch of silly movements knowing fully well everyone behind you would soon be doing the exact same thing. In the adult world, though, “follow the leader” more or less takes the form of “you do your part and I’ll do mine”—a train that will only work if all its parts are working together. Knowing I have a team who relies on me to not only do my job, but also to do my job well has consistently put a great deal of positive stress on myself that ends up pushing me to achieve my absolute best. Better yet, knowing I have to do my job in Her Campus well along with my other commitments has completely revamped the definition of “loyalty” because if I am not loyal to the club, I have let down an entire group of people—not just myself.

 

 

4. Endless learning opportunities.

As imperfect human beings, we tend to think we know everything once we have achieved a certain position, whether it be the “big dog” senior in high school or the single manager of a “big dog” company. I was no exception to this notion when I was sworn in as CC, but little did I know that there were so many things I would end up learning. It is a constant refilling of new information in my reservoir of knowledge whenever I step into our weekly meeting room on campus: from themed article week and team bonding ideas to management structure, there are ample of different things that comes to mind for me to bring to the table next semester. It just goes to show that no matter what job you have in life, there is always room to learn more.

 

 

5. Half work and half play makes Jane a very happy girl.

The fact that I love to write, especially with the beautiful team I am honored to be affiliated with, makes my job as Club President truly a blast. Adults have told us since the day we were born that if we find something we love to stick with it and we would never work a single day… I am lucky, and proud, enough to say that I have accomplished this dream at just twenty years old. Although I am frequently in charge of taking care of multiple tasks, I absolutely love what I do and the club for which I do those things. When you love what you do, it really does feel like play rather than work!

 

I could not be more thankful for the experience of being Campus Correspondent this past semester, and I look forward for what is to come!

 

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