Reflecting on LEAD

Reflecting on LEAD

One of the things that makes Booth such a unique place to learn and grow is the LEAD program.  LEAD is a dynamic course where first-year students focus on developing the most critical aspects of leadership – cultivating support and influencing others, understanding different working styles and motivating diverse teams, presenting ideas, and managing under crisis.  At Booth, we believe these skills simply can’t be learned in a traditional academic setting, so LEAD is a fully experiential program where first-year students are constantly challenging themselves to practice these skills and incorporate feedback from each other to improve.

And perhaps what makes LEAD truly unique from leadership programs at other schools is that LEAD is taught by second-year students.  At Booth we talk a lot about our strong pay-it-forward culture.  Students go so far out of their way to help each other succeed in the classroom, in recruiting and in personal pursuits, and I think second-years facilitating LEAD is the ultimate example of that pay-it-forward culture.  Second year LEAD facilitators dedicate hundreds of hours developing modules and group challenges and providing  personalized feedback to help first years cultivate their unique leadership style.

So as LEAD is coming to a close, I wanted to hear from some of the second year facilitators about their LEAD experience and why they chose to give back to Booth through LEAD.  Here’s what they had to say:

When I signed up for LEAD my first thought was definitely not that I would be back at LOR dressed as a Storm Trooper walking to the Imperial March, or that I would be channeling Boyz II Men and lip-syncing “I’ll Make Love to You” to a room of ~580+ first years for our cohort intros. Coming into the last week of LEAD, I realized that this experience has been a great balance of fun, learning (public speaking is a constant work in progress) and opportunity as I got to know such a great group of interesting squad members and watch them learn more about themselves through all of our activities (and many debrief sessions!). –Cristin Garry ‘17

I’m so impressed by the unity of the class of 2018! They managed to get entire cohorts dress up as one character/ theme when they had only a 3 day notice for the costume competition at LOR.  – Rikki Singh ‘17

There are so many memorable moments from my time as a LEAD Facilitator. The incoming students have been such an engaged, interesting, and talented group of people. I have lost track of how many times they’ve made me laugh and impressed me: delivering animated speeches on self-driving cars, artificial super intelligence, the merits of corruption, or why Home Alone is such a great movie. – Joanna Si ‘17

What impresses me about the class of 2018 is how much they have kept me on my toes. They and the questions that they ask at LEAD has raised the bar in the amount of reading and research I have to do for each class.  They ask such great but hard questions!  They’ve definitely challenged me academically and professionally in ways I never expected. – Vivian Fan ‘17

LEAD facils serve a role as ‘bridge’ between 1st-year students and 2nd-year students. In true Booth give-back fashion, LEAD facils become one of the very handy access points for those 1st-year students to connect to other 2nd-year students who just finished their summer internships and are excited to meet 1st-year students.  – Youngrok Kim ‘17

You can learn more about LEAD from a student’s perspective here.