The Connections Conference is a leadership development conference at Great Wolf Lodge that is available to CMU students. The conference is organized and ran by CMU’s Leadership Institute as well as CMU students and staff.
Students left early on a Saturday morning to head up to Great Wolf Lodge. There were three charter buses of students. However, the third bus never showed up to pick up students. After hours of waiting for the bus company to send another bus, Bus 3 finally made it to the conference just following lunch. The picture above is specifically of bus three.
As part of being a Leadership Advancement Scholar, attending the Connections Conference is part of our required curriculum. Therefore, we did not present any information we were there to learn and develop our own leadership abilities. Following the sign up of Connections, I asked some friends about the conference. Everyone had positive things to say about the conference. I was very excited to attend the conference not only because it was at Great Wolf Lodge and we would have free time in the water park, but also because Leadership is a passion, and developing my leadership skills further is something I wouldn’t ever turn down.
At the conference I learned a lot about setting goals and discovering the type of leader I am. Being aware of the goals you have and setting steps to completing those goals is helpful in order to ensure the success of the goals you set. Following Connections conference I set a goal.
By the age of 28, I will be a Pediatric Physical therapist.
Following this I gave myself guidelines in order to help me accomplish this long term goal. These guidelines may be basic or specific according on what you believe will help you succeed.
1. Always go to class.
2. Do not procrastinate.
3. Always try my hardest
4. Complete my 120 hours of required shadowing.
5. Get accepted into the Athletic Training Program.
My favorite session that I attended involved using different Disney characters to help one identify their leadership style. The Disney character that I related the most to was Mulan. I chose Mulan, because like her, she had to work prove herself to people that she deserved where she got to be. She did this through never getting up and working her hardest to prove other wrong and show them that she was capable of holding the position she was in. I found Mulan most fitting for me because I also had to prove to others that I was capable of being school president. I joined student senate my sophomore year and quickly learned that leadership was a passion of mine. Prior to senior year I decided to run for high school president. I won. I had the support of teachers and staff, however, my competitors, who had been in student senate longer than I had were doubtful. I had to work hard to show them that I was capable of the position.
I learned that people lead differently and that everyone has a different leadership style and one style is not necessarily better than another. Depending on the situation, one may need to adapt their leadership style in order to ensure that their peers or follows are greatly benefited.
Looking back at the conference, it was time well spent. I would recommend the Connections Conference to other students interested in further developing their leadership skills. I will take the skills that I learned at connections and integrate them into my daily life.
The last night we were at the Conference, my mentor, Trino, got to preform for all the participants. Trino is a magician. His performance was a huge success. Students and staff loved it.