I began doing research on the program immediately when I heard the name, and a lot of the things I read or heard were so vague to wrap my head around, it almost seemed like LeaderShape was this secret society where outsiders weren’t welcome.
I decided to take part in LeaderShape instead of doing the typical student spring break. I wanted my leadership skills to speak for themselves, and I wanted to become comfortable at taking more risks. I feel that leaders who are comfortable with taking risks are the most successful, because they’re the ones who demonstrate a high level of perseverance. One of my career goals is to work for the U.S. Department of State as a foreign service officer or the United Nations among people who are committed to serving the nation through advocacy for citizens across the globe.
Each day at LeaderShape was spontaneous, rigorous and refreshing. We would arrive at the learning community only knowing the theme for that day, but not the activity we were going to be doing. After listening to unlimited doses of “Uptown Funk” and getting briefed by our facilitators, we would either proceed to our “family” clusters or partake in activities that were physically and intellectually stimulating. No day was like the last, and we learned to appreciate the power of uncertainty.
I learned so much about my group within those six days than I had learned about some individuals that I have known since the start of my time here at Indiana University. In return, I got to discover more about who I am, and the values and morals that I stand for. Everyone connected on various levels with one another and I feel that if we continue to nourish and develop these relationships, they have the potential of lasting a lifetime.
Ultimately, do I recommend LeaderShape? Absolutely.
I believe the LeaderShape experience has allowed me to gain skills on how to become a well-rounded global citizen, and has shaped me for my future career. I would like to say every student should undoubtedly apply for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, but LeaderShape is whatever you make it, and you have to want to do it in order to get the most out of it. You should participate in LeaderShape with an open mind, and expect the unexpected — because this will be probably one of the most rewarding investments you put forth toward your future.