Today's guest blog comes from Steve Beck, U of A student and past participant in the Emerging Leaders Program, a joint initiative of the University of Alberta's Students' Union, Office of the Dean of Students and Residence Services.
Hello! My name is Steve Beck and I’m a full-time education student at the University of Alberta. I'm also a private chef. In September 2012, I joined the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) because leadership is important to me and the opportunity to learn more about and discuss the whole concept of leadership with other students seemed like a great environment to be in. What I found most interesting was working with students from many leadership positions, students who frequently used the activities we practiced in the program within their own organizations. This showed me that, as a leader, anything is possible and although some people might seem excellent by nature, it is through practice and taking that fearful step into the unknown that one becomes excellent.
As the owner of a private chef and catering business and a full-time education student, the ELP gave me both the courage and confidence to take my business to the next level. By using the activities we learned in each session, I was able to take a step back to reshape the culture of my organization and maximize effectiveness of my time, which has enabled my business to grow - intelligently structured - in a positive direction. I now cater bi-weekly and hire staff for events.
I enjoyed how the ELP facilitators structured our sessions with successful entrepreneurs, community leaders and other guest speakers. This gave us the chance to develop a network and connect with leaders who are making a difference in our community. Currently, I keep in touch with a few of my fellow ELP participants, and I wouldn't hesitate to ask them or the ELP staff for help on a project as they were very accommodating and easy to talk to.
If I had more time, I would like to be a part of some of my partners’ organizations. They've motivated me to want to get involved by their commitment to their organizations and their strong foundation in leadership principles. For me, the ELP gave me confidence and knowledge in career development, self-reflection and networking, and I'm positive I’ll continue to search for further leadership training opportunities to continue along this path.