Connections Leadership Conference is an event put on by the Leadership Institute that takes 15o leaders on campus, including all LAS freshman and students involved in RSOs, student council, and other groups on campus, to advance our Leadership skills and make connections with our fellow CMU leaders. We woke up on November 7th to travel up to Traverse City and stay at the Great Wolf Lodge. I was ready to listen to some great speakers, connect with Central Michigan students, and of course get a little wet at the water park. As i traveled on the bus, I did not quite know what I was getting myself into, this being my first conference, but I left 2 days later on the same bus thinking just how great my first conference was.
I learned a great deal at Connections Conference. I attended four speakers at Connections. The first speaker talked about our D.A.M.N, then I attended Power of Positive Change: Start the Ball Rolling, Fierce Conversations, and Gaining Momentum on the Grid. I highly enjoyed every Speaker I went to and my favorite by far still was Fierce Conversations(I have a blog specifically about this so check it out). After the first night we got to have a fun night at the water park. Following all the fun we got to play a game that allowed us to mingle with all the CMU students here at the Conference.
For being my first Conference, I’d have to say it was quite a good one. I enjoyed every Speaker that I attended. The food was great despite what I had heard. How could I not enjoy, I mean anything you do surrounded by fellow Chippewas will be a good time. Overall, Connections was a great experience and if i would ever get an opportunity to be more involved in it I would in a heart beat.Thank you LAS and CMU for the opportunity as always!
Chase and I looking good at Connections.
The Spark Leadership series is put on by the Leadership Institute to give students a passion for Leadership and make connections with other students. Spark is a four week program that is 2 hours every Thursday night. More info can be obtained here. LAS is required to attend once our Freshman year. I enjoyed the experience and hope to be able to be a co-coordinator in the future.
Spark started with a presentation from our coordinators, followed by getting into our groups. I was lucky enough to be on Team Collaborated lead by Sophomore LASers James Barber and Angie Distelrath.
We got to do some activities to bond with our group. The next week got to learn our Leadership styles. I am a Direct Leader which means … The third session was a Challenge day with our groups. Each person got their chance to take a lead on a challenge. I love participating in team challenges like this. I love a good challenge and enjoy the comradery you feel in succeeding in a group. The last day of Spark put everything we learned and know about Leadership into one activity. Everyone was split into two groups that were given different cultures, ways of speaking, and rules to follow. It is hard to explain in full, but basically the culture I was in started every confrontation with a hug and asking about a male in their life. You proceded to play a card game. Students from the other group came over to participate in our group which lead to mass confusion. Personally, if you did not get to visit the other group the activity did not have much of an effect on me. This also might have been due to me being sick.
Overall, I thought Spark was a good event and I am happy I got to participate. The best part of my experience was being able to learn about my Leadership style. Now that I know my style I can work on my weaknesses and continue to do the things I do well. Spark is just one of the many things the Leadership Institute puts on to spread Leadership throughout campus at the wonderful Central Michigan University.